Beauty Thoughts: The Verdict

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Even for those of us in the blogging world that are neither sent the newest releases constantly nor are able to shell out recklessly for them, there are many beauty products that fall through the cracks after they are initially purchased — some will be granted reviews, some will be mentioned in passing but there are so many products left untalked about. I’m hoping to talk about some of the untalked about here without being incessantly wordy and detailed – hope being the key word here. By the way, these are exclusively products of the drugstore variety.

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara ($9-11 CDN)

I’m usually such a L’Oreal mascara fan and I’ve heard such great things about their latest mascara offering from my most trusted of sources, but for me this mascara is far too wet and much too clumpy for my liking. Although I have only had this for a short amount of time, I can safely say that I dislike it; however, I fully expect that I will dislike it less as it dries out but I’m not expecting miracles. Also, in typical L’Oreal fashion, it is difficult to remove despite not being a waterproof formulation.

Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup ($18 CDN)

Now I certainly did not go for this foundation offering to combat wrinkles (I’m merely 20) but as a foundation, I’m not wholeheartedly impressed with this one and I wouldn’t expect anything miraculous if wrinkles are your concern here. The funny thing is that I can’t say anything particularly bad about this longwearing medium-buildable coverage foundation but it lacked the quality of blending seamlessly into the skin and making the skin look smoother, radiant and improved rather than merely covering the skin itself. It has a satin finish, as well, and it doesn’t cling to dry patches particularly but it doesn’t leave the skin looking radiant or brightened. The shame is that my colour match was pretty good — Bare Buff, the second lightest shade in the range suited my moderately fair skin with warm beige-yellow undertones nicely. Plus, it’s not the cheapest thing out there.

Revlon Matte Balm in 230 Complex ($9-10 CDN)

I’ve said before that I was actually rather disappointed in Revlon’s matte balm offering, finding it slightly drying on the lips with the potent mint sensation and less than flattering over dry patches, but after everyone has raved about them and I’ve seen the gorgeous colour selection, I had to pick up another shade … for testing purposes, obviously. Unfortunately, I wasn’t any more impressed with the formula when I picked up this lovely peachy nude shade which was rather disappointing as I love the warm-toned flattering darker nude hue. They do wear on the lips for a long time, though. I’m still curious if the darker shades are more flattering on the lips as both of the shades I’ve tried are on the lighter side of things and their bold range is amazing – any thoughts?

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Revlon Colorstay Concealer ($10-12 CDN)

Believe it or not, I am actually moving into the territory of products that I actually wholeheartedly like. Despite not being among the fairest of the fair, I have great difficulty finding concealers of the drugstore variety that are neither too pink, too orange, too yellow while not being too dark but the beige undertones of 02 Light suit my skin like a champ for concealing blemishes and redness on my face. I find the liquid concealer too dry for use underneath my eyes but it’s ideal to quickly cover blemishes and redness as it doesn’t budge or show/highlight dry patches.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life ($7-8 CDN)

From owning the bold berry-hued 107 that unfortunately doesn’t suit me, pulling rather fuchsia on me in an unflattering manner, I already knew that I loved the formula of this pigmented, semi-matte lipstick;it  manages to both last on my lips for about six hours and neither dry my lips out or cling to my dry lips unattractively. This shade is a bold scarlet hue with subtlest of an orange lean to its otherwise neutral base and has to be among my favourite bold lip shades ever — its formula merely boosts the appeal.

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Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts on them?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Used Up Products #2

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Considering that I’m actually someone who enjoys these posts and their counterparts in video form, it might seem odd that I rarely put these kinds of posts up but in all honesty, I take forever to use up actual makeup despite frequent use – with the exception of mascara – and generally tend to run out of the same things quickly: conditioner, hair product, Bioderma and mascara, so I don’t always feel that these are the most interesting things to discuss. Nevertheless, I figure that I would give these a fair (hopefully concise) review.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water ($22 CDN):

I’ve mentioned before the severity of my eye sensitivity and dryness but I have to mention it again in light of why I absolutely adore this product. Despite being the only product that has never burned or stung my eyes in the makeup removal process, it actually does remove makeup effectively and is the lazy girl’s dream with the ease that it removes makeup. It’s pretty much like makeup wipes in a bottle for those who like me have skin that is very reactive to makeup wipes and cannot use them. Bioderma is a simple product but a great one at that, being able to remove makeup effectively without any irritation involved. However, I’ve found cleansers that remove makeup as well on the face that I prefer, so unless I’m being lazy I only use the water to remove eye makeup.

Maybelline One By One Volum’ Express Mascara ($9-10):

I’m not typically one to exhibit diverse reactions to mascaras here but I promise that I’m not that indifferent to each mascara that I try and that the fact that I like this one (but don’t absolutely adore it) speaks to its merit. I’m quite a fan of the synthetic brush that is shaped somewhat like a football as it provides loads of definition and separation with its volume and the mascara in general, I suppose. However, it’s one of those mascaras that do enhance the lashes in an impressive way but manage to look relatively natural even on the bottom lashes. This mascara is a nice option for lighter days that removes easily and doesn’t look too full on.

L’Oreal Power Moisture Moisture Infusion Mask ($5-7 CDN):

Considering that I included this hair product in one of my first monthly favourites in the summer of 2013, it is sort of shocking that it’s a product that I feel rather indifferent towards but I think that when I enjoyed it my hair was in a good state and benefited from this basic conditioner parading as a mask that doesn’t do anything negative for your hair but doesn’t really do anything either. I think I liked it at first because of its light texture and that it did not weigh down the hair and while that is still true, it didn’t provide any sort of true nourishment and was not concentrated in the least. The quest for an affordable conditioner that I like continues…

DevaCurl One Condition ($26 CDN):

While I would rank this conditioner more highly than the former, it was not right for my fine-textured tangly wavy-curly hair as it did not provide that rich nourishment and detangling power. It has a really nice herbal-y scent and doesn’t weigh down hair in the slightest while moisturizing but it’s not enough for me. Ingredient-wise, it’s particularly great on the no-silicone front and I can see those requiring less hydration and whatnot loving this. However, I have gotten good results with this as a product for conditioner-washing but this is a rather pricy option for something with that purpose…

DevaCurl B’Leave-In ($26 CDN):

If you are too a member of the curlier-hair camp, you surely have firsthand experience of the whole my-hair-has-a-mind-of-its-own phenomenon and unless everything in your hair routine is in order, the worst hair day might still just happen. I loved this protein-based curl-enhancer and volumizer when my routine was all sorted last summer and I was consistently pretty pleased with the whole haircare routine, finding it to add that life towards the roots and in the less-curly sections of my head in a way that nothing else could but when things started to spiral out of control hair-wise, I cast this aside, believing it not to do anything and slowly used it up. However, I’m convinced that this is one of those products that can really boost your hair but only can provide results if the rest of your routine is in order as it doesn’t provide hold. I used this up a few months back but now I’m really considering repurchasing it and giving it another go…

Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x.

 

An Ode to the Neutral Blush: MAC Tenderling

perhaps not my most flattering shot but its accurate at least
perhaps not my most flattering shot but its accurate at least
Funnily enough, even as someone with let’s say a natural rosy complexion (and it was worse before I discovered what skincare products to search out and avoid), I’ve never been blush-shy. But keeping this in mind, this dark time was when I was addicted to full-on coverage – MAC SFF, anyone? – so the redness was previously covered-up before blush action happened. The case in point here is that I’ve never been someone to go for those subtle neutral blushes as they’ve looked so boring and I’ve found success with my corals but I was tempted to go for this one when I want a quick one product cheek that won’t overpower the rest of the face. 

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MAC Tenderlingimpressed me, being one of the very few cheek products that I like the look of alone. If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, you’re probably aware that I go for a bronzer of sorts to add some shape to my face as well as a blush and highlighter too if I can muster the effort but sometimes I’m running short on time and this blush actually runs double-duty, adding some definition to the cheekbones while adding the most neutral rosiness to the cheeks. The blush also is a winner when you’re going for a bold lip and want to keep the face looking effortless but not drained of life. I would describe the blush as warm-toned, half-way between a tan shade and a neutral pink shade but it veers on peach, if that makes any sense. Out of the neutral blushes I’ve seen, this definitely has more warmth without losing its neutral status and I think it will flatter warmer skintones the best.

The formula of this blush, “a sheertone” — not particularly sheer IMO — is among the best of the best for me. It is a softer powder, so it can get all over the place if you’re not careful but its texture glides wonderfully onto the skin. It has medium-buildable pigmentation and has good longevity. It’s ability to contour slightly is due to its matte but not flat finish, if you were wondering. I would describe Tenderling as the middle ground between a shade like MAC’s Harmony for contouring and a pink blush with some extra warmth added to it which makes it ideal for a face (like mine) that can look rather ghastly post-foundation. And it lasts for ages and ages.

shown with the much-darker MAC Harmony for comparison
shown with the much-darker MAC Harmony for comparison

As you can probably gather from the photos, I purchased this one in pan form to go in my duo palette for $21 CDN but they can also be purchased in their standard pots for $25 CDN and they come with 0.21 ounces of product so considering the quality, they are very economical. Tenderlingis a shade that looks rather dull and boring in the store and even swatched but really comes to life on the cheeks and it’s my first neutral blush love. Now I’m tempted to try more of these neutral blushes… uh oh.

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before… after….

Have you tried any MAC blushes? Aaaand, what are your favourite neutral blushes?

Maggie, x.

February Favourites

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If January was all about the haze that comes with stress and exhaustion, February was definitely a continuation on the same spectrum, with the same constant anxiety and perpetual exhaustion but also with the complication of sleeping troubles (obviously deprivation ensued throughout the month and the threat of fast approaching deadlines that forced me to turn my stress into something productive. And although I love winter, it has to be said that I’ve been suffering through the drab and dreary winter blues, I’m afraid to say.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

When I heard about this palette and saw pictures and videos featuring it for the first little while, I was not particularly impressed or planning to buy it but as time went on and I did more research, I had an itch that it would be a worthwhile purchase for me and man it was. This is one of the rare palettes that I can use to create a myriad of different combinations that I like without feeling compelled to reach for another palette – unless its for my eyebrows obviously. This wasn’t something I considered when I decided to buy the palette but the three matte shades are the hidden treasures of the palette, the workhorses in a sense. The rosy-taupe, Limit, works wonderfully as a transition shade on me, the darker rosy brown, Nooner, is one of my favourites for adding depth to the crease and Strange, the slightly pink-toned cream shade, highlights the eye without adding any extra shimmer. I’ve been rotating between using Burnout, Buzz and Trick on my lid and have been enjoying Darkside in the outer corner as well as Blackheart to deepen things up even more.

 Sally Hansen Kwik Off ($5 CDN)

Even after contemplating this all month, it shocks me that I’m becoming one of those girls who talks obsessively about something as mundane as nail polish remover yet here I am. This is the easiest way to remove nail polish ever. I keep this on the floor next to my bed and I can remove my polish effortlessly without truly moving. You just have to lazily swirl your finger around through the fluid-filled sponge and then you are done. What more could you ask for?

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)

 After trying this foundation at the beginning of the month, I haven’t been able to take it off my desk since. Although I rotate through a few others, this has to be a new favourite of mine as I easily wore it most of the month. It’s a nice and lightweight foundation that can go on sheerly with a small amount of product applied with the fingers but it provides weightless medium coverage combined with my loved Real Techniques Buffing Brush while looking light and dewy on the skin. I appreciate that this foundation has that lightweight look and feel without being full of drying alcohols and I have to say Shell has been an impressive match on me. This is one of the few foundations I can go to if my skin is an irritated, dehydrated and flaky mess without worrying about it making the texture look worse. From what I’d heard I thought this foundation was one that offered more of a natural finish than a luminous one and I was going to pass it up but then I heard Lily Pebbles describing it as glowier and I decided to pick it up when it went on sale for ten dollars and a dime or two.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($22 CDN)

I’m not ashamed to admit that when I picked this up towards the beginning of the month, it was an impulsive buy, resulting from stress-shopping so I wasn’t expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised by my love of this after expecting very little from it. It’s an ultra-gentle fragrance-free overnight masque that feels sort of thick and gooey on the skin that seems to be absorbed quickly and results in less dehydrated and dull skin in the morning, making the skin look rested when I’ve hardly slept at all. I’ve been using it 2-3 times weekly since picking it up and I have to say it consistently helped calm my skin, made it look more luminous and helped makeup to apply smoothly. The ingredients are pretty basic but they are effective for truly hydrating the skin. I recommend trying this out (or at the very least some sort of moisture mask) if dehydration is a skincare concern of yours.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN)

This has received a great deal of mention from me here lately (in my weekly post from last week, for instance) but this has remained the blush that I’ve reached for day after day and for once it’s actually available as it’s being repromoted with MAC’s A Fantasy of Flowers collection. The texture of the blush is finely-milled so it sits in synergy with the skin and really helps to illuminate with its coppery coral bloom of colour that is not overly shimmering on the skin. This is one of those blushes that I put on and look instantly alive. If you tend to be a fan of corals and haven’t tried this one out, I recommend giving it a look before it’s gone. I don’t say these words often, but the cult-product is completely worth the hype, however I do have a thing for coral blushes…

Pantene Curly Hair Series Curl Shaping Gel ($6-8 CDN)

When I picked this gel up a month ago because if you have hair that’s on the curly end of the spectrum and wear it that way, a gel can be a lifesaver for definition and control of your curls but if like me you have hair that soaks up product and you have a whole lot of hair, it can get expensive going through higher end gels that I know and love and I was in great need of a nice one that didn’t break the bank. I generally associate Pantene with weighed down and silicone coated hair so I was surprised when I found out it was silicone-free while not being drying on the hair, providing a good deal of hold – but in my opinion not the extreme hold advertised. This gel gives really nice curl definition on my fine strands that I would classify as wavy-curls while keeping my dry and tangly hair in good condition. After being unhappy with my hair for a good couple of months, when I began using this a dramatic difference was seen for the better. It doesn’t weigh hair down in the slightest, I’m glad to say, while still being kind on the hair. 

Maybelline Blushing Beige Lipstick ($9-10 CDN)

Lip products rarely seem to be featured in my favourites posts and it’s not because I don’t love them but rather is that I don’t tend to commit to wearing one over a long period of time but I’ve been wearing this one from the new ‘The Buffs’ collection frequently this month. The formula is comfortable on the lips while still having good longevity and it has that cream finish that I adore. Blushing Beige was one of the shades I recently reviewed and although it’s a true nude colour in depth, the warm pink-peach undertones keep the shade flattering on the lips and away from the concealer lips end of things. This shade is a difficult one to describe and in light of this, below is a picture of it on my pale lips.

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What have you been loving this month?

Maybelline ‘The Buffs’ Lipsticks in Blushing Beige & Nude Lust

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top: Blushing Beige bottom: Nude Lust
top: Blushing Beige
bottom: Nude Lust

“Spring Break” can be somewhat of a funny thing; when you think of said break, you most likely are thinking about partying down south and relaxing but in my reality, it’s going to be spent sleeping and trying to get some much-needed work out of the way. So this break (beginning today err yesterday now) does not actually feel like your average break (I’ve such a thing does exist) as it will involve a good quantity of labour but let me say that I’m delighted to have some time to breathe and laze around home in pyjamas with my hair in a messy bun, plopped unattractively on the top of my head. Step one is getting out some of these posts that I’ve been meaning to write for ages.

As always, it took ages for the Maybelline The Buffs Lipsticks Lipsticks to enter to the Canadian waters but when they did and went on sale while doing it, I was all over that display. The collection features numerous ‘nude’ lipsticks that would suit a variety of skin-tones ranging from the pale beiges to darker browns and I picked up two shades on the lighter end (but not the lightest) of the spectrum, 915 Blushing Beige and 920 Nude Lust. These are a part of the large colorsensational line and retail for $9-10 CDN and certainly less in the US. Blushing Beige applies (and swatches) paler than it appears in the tube so although the shades look similar in the tube, they are remarkably different on the lips. This shade is a warm-toned peachy nude that is on the lighter end of the spectrum but does not appear ghastly in the least. Nude Lust has a more neutral base and comes off as a medium-toned beigey nude with a wee bit of brown in it and none of that peachiness.

Both of the shades have that typical Maybelline play-doh smell that I may not particularly like but am not altogether bothered by. The entire Buffs collection comes in the unexpected packaging except the bullets are covered with a more opaque beige-brown lid that looks a great deal less cheap than the packaging of the much-loved Vivids line, if you ask me.

While the formula is not infallible, I was quite impressed with it overall. I’ve only tried these shades which are obviously both on the lighter end of the spectrum but I do find these shades highlight the dry patches in my lips ever-so-slightly – but I do have very dry lips which I do not actually in fact exfoliate… Both of these have a nice cream finish that last on the lips for 3-4 hours with slight eating and drinking which is impressive for how comfortable and lightweight they are to wear. I do not necessarily find them hydrating but I’m certain that they are not drying in the slightest and they are lightweight on the lips. The formula reminds me of MAC Cremesheen finish but to be honest I like these better (read: I don’t adore the cremesheen formula). They are fairly opaque but can be sheered out slightly.

These two shades have found a home in my purchase along with my stash of lip products that seem to accumulate and I’ve been enjoying wearing these loads. I love both of the shades for different reasons and the only thing that would make it better is if they kind of had a shade that mixed the qualities of the two, being slightly darker like Nude Lust whilst still having the flattering pink-undertone of Blushing Beige. Blushing Beige, on me at least, seems to be shade that I reach for when I’m wearing heavier eye makeup as it is a bit too light to be worn with more minimal makeup on the eyes, whereas Nude Lust can be worn wearing lighter eye makeup as it isn’t so pale – I’m aware that I’m stating the obvious here but it had to be done.

915 Blushing Beige
915 Blushing Beige
920 Nude Lust
920 Nude Lust

Barely Blushing is similar to MAC Creme d’Nude in both finish and colour, however it is slightly darker and has stronger peachy undertones. Nude Lust reminded me of MAC Patisserie but the Maybelline offering has much stronger beige undertones and the formula is much more opaque and less shimmery and glossy. Patisserie is very pink in comparison.

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Top-Bottom: Maybelline Barely Blushing, MAC Creme d’Nude, Maybelline Nude Lust, MAC Patisserie

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts?

Maggie, x.

Urban Decay Naked 3

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I’m very late on the bandwagon with this one as I forced myself to resist buying it until the very end of January and after using it exclusively for two weeks – I think I wore an eyeshadow from a different palette maybe once – it’s safe to say that I’m in love and I’m not one to declare my undying love for a palette unless it’s something magical. I’m not saying that the formula of these shadows are magical but they are really nice shadows that one expects from Urban Decay (but with some fallout as can be expected from shadows of this texture) combined together in a versatile and flattering way – for my skintone at least. When I saw the first photos on the palette when its existence was rumoured, I was not interested one bit because those icy pinks do not suit me and I’m not into that whole extremely girly look. I’ve said it before I use the Naked 1 constantly and I’ve been happy with it as it contains the flattering warm shades for my skintone but some essential lighter shades are missing from the palette in my opinion. Because Naked 3 was cool-toned, I didn’t think it would be a wise choice for me but I’m pleased to say it’s not as it seems. Naked 3 is a warm-toned palette, but unlike the first in the series, it has more colour options on the lighter end of the spectrum and the shades lean on the warm rosy side rather than the bronzes and as much as I like bronzes, these shades are some of my favourites.

The general tone of the palette follows shades like MAC All That Glitters, NARS Kalahari and Urban Decay Hustle and Sin. In my humble opinion, this palette would be great for two specific groups of people (a) those who suit warm-toned shades and (b) those who want to work with warmer toned shades but find bronze-based shades pull to orange-y on them. I know it’s premature to say this but I think that this might be my favourite palette of all time, pulling ahead of the original Naked Palette.

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The shadows themselves are pigmented while still remaining easily blendable and smooth. The mattes are particularly impressive in formula here – I’m including Strange even though it’s listed as a satin here – and serve as flattering highlight, transition and crease shades on my moderately fair skin; the palette is versatile and great for travelling on account of the inclusion of these three staple shades. Strange is a pearly ivory shade with a rosy lean to it that is a highlighting shade, the transition shade is Limit, a light rosy-taupe and Nooner, the darker rosy brown, is my crease shade of course. A few of the lighter shades are prone to fallout but most of this can be prevented by being careful; the only shade I dislike working with is Dust, the pinky champagne shade as it is verging on glittery with fallout issues and doesn’t impart a great deal of colour onto the lid – nevertheless as it’s a light shade it is workable. Trick (coppery rose-gold) and Buzz (warm rosy-shade that is perhaps the pinkest but has some mauve-taupe in there for sure) can be prone to some fallout (but this can be remedied by applying it with the fingers onto the lid or tapping the excess off of the brush) but their texture and pigmentation is still great nevertheless – these have to be some of my favourite shades in the palette. And they don’t transfer onto the lid as glittery as they appear, I’m pleased to report. I can’t actually detect any of the microglitter like I could with Sidecar. The mid-toned shades seem to contain a refined shimmer and translate smoothly onto the lids; these include the more muted rosy-taupe shade, Liar, the darker taupe with mauve undertones called Factory and the more medium-toned mauve-taupe shade with some grey in it called Mugshot. The final two shades in the palette, Darkside and Blackheart, are the two truly deep shades in the palette that can be used (and I do frequently) to add definition and smokiness to the eye and they are both fantastic shades. Darkside was one of the shades that I didn’t expect much of and was flabbergasted when it blew me away – it’s a warm dark blendable grey with rosy-plum undertones and a satin finish. I’m also quite a fan of Blackheart, the palette’s “black” shade that is pigmented and workable without being chalky with gorgeous pink shimmer/glitter running throughout.

 Each of the shadows is full-sized (all twelve containing 0.05 oz of product each) and comes housed in the durable packaging that has a secure closure and a large mirror. It comes in a metal tin with copper swirled lettering over the rose-gold packaging. It came with the individual primer samples which didn’t really impress me but I can’t complain and I was quite a fan of the brush. The brush was a double-ended synthetic one, featuring a more precise paddle brush that is great for precise placement and a larger fluffier brush that works well for blending. I much prefer this brush to the one they brought out with the original palette. And of course it’s $52 US/$62 CDN. It’s worth that sum if you ask me and believe it or not I can be quite cheap.

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Have you picked the palette up? What are your thoughts?

Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #3

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This week was when I admitted to myself (finally) that it was imperative that I get the ball rolling with schoolwork and the like. This was not particularly fun. Everything has been adding up and has transformed into some sort of psychological claustrophobia inducing mass. Unlike my school experience last semester (and the year before), it’s not a week or two of debilitating chaos that is messing with my mind but it’s constant long-term work that requires dedication, focus, attention and organization. Note: I would not say that I possess said skills in quantifiable amounts. Alas, – I’ve always wanted to say that in a post – I’m aware enough to be doubtful that I will survive the crunch if some sort of sorcery doesn’t occur now. Main point of this ramble: This week has been pretty focused on products etc. of the grab and go variety and quick destressing fixes.

During weeks such as these, I come to really appreciate my enjoyment derived from reading posts and watching videos (of the beauty variety of course) – this becomes quite apparent. Being as scatterbrained and unfocused as I am, I’ve taken to listen to videos while putt-ing (horrible golf reference) through my required readings (or at least most of them) and writing my papers holed up in the library and this has been rather productive method for me, oddly enough. I always adore Lisa Eldrige’s (otherwise known as the makeup goddess) videos – she’s an amazing makeup artist who has a great minimalistic aesthetic, is incredibly informative and has the most soothing voice – buuuuut I had a marathon watching her videos sneakily in the unpopulated corner. It’s a few years old but Lisa’s Minimal Makeup Tutorial – Rosy Flushhas to be one of my all-time favourites that I rewatched. She epitomizes gorgeous yet effortless makeup, need I say more?

Everyone reading this knows her blog, I’m sure, so this likely won’t be majorly interesting but Anna’s “My Edinburgh Edit”was an especially interesting post this week. She looked effortless and gorgeous in the post (anyone else noticing a theme here?), the post was impeccably laid-out as always and who doesn’t enjoy a daily face post, especially one written by the trustworthy and amusing Anna?

Early this week, my skin did this thing where it breaks out in more than a few irritated and inflamed bumps and this is hardly surprising considering how stressed I am at the moment. I have the misfortune of my skin depicting my inner state. Thankfully I knew better than to overdo the spot treatments and irritate things further (I can’t even  quantify the number of times I’ve made this mistake in the past…) and instead I pulled out the trustworthy Clinique Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask ($26 CDN) and it worked better than expected when I slapped it on before bed. My skin was not irritated afterwards and the morning after there was a remarkable decrease in inflammation and the underneath the skin pesky bumps. I’m not usually one to rave about masks but this one earned its mention here.

I cringe at the very thought of including this but even though I’ve rambled about it all week, The Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN) deserves its mention as I’ve worn it every single day this week and more than that, I have been pleased with it each and every time. It’s one of those practical-yet-elusive all-inclusive palettes that create really nice eye makeup with minimal effort. It provides the warmth that prevents me from looking like a zombie (the brain hasn’t felt like shutting off enough to let me sleep for six hours as of late). The shades are cohesive and really suit my warm-toned skin and blue eyes.

a satisfying eye combination featuring the palette in question
a satisfying eye combination featuring the palette in question

I don’t give the MAC Powder Blush in Tenderling ($21/25 CDN) enough credit as it has been a godsend for me lately. It’s that neutral blush that looks like nothing to write home about in the pan that adds both shape and warmth to the face at once with its light rosy brown matte hue with you guessed it warm undertones. It’s a blessing to have as it’s a shade you can ‘pop’ on without even having to think about it – yes I’m aware that I spend entirely too much time watching British beauty videos.

the beauteous blush in question
the beauteous blush in question

On a more random note, I’ve been adoring my Lululemon Wonder Under Leggings ($82/92 CDN) this week – not that I don’t constantly adore them; I do wear them most likely more often than socially acceptable… Before you write me off as delusional listen to this: they are as gloriously comfortable while still remaining socially-acceptable and are a less depressing alternative to rocking the sweatpants. You throw them on with some nice tall boots, a long cardigan and top with a scarf haphazardly brought to the mix and bam you look pulled together while in the optimal frame of mind to be productive. Wearing these while working in the library legitimately made a significant difference in terms of my ability to function this week. Sometimes the effort of wearing pants is beyond you and at such times these leggings are a lifesaver.

What have you been loving this week? I’m always open to new products to justify purchasing!

Maggie,x.