I promise that I don’t adore every single mascara that I try, despite how things have appeared around here lately, it’s just that I’ve had very good luck in recent months in terms of picking up gems — first my staple Maybelline The Falsies, next the new love of mine, L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess and finally this one, the Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara. This mascara retails for the pretty standard $9 dollar pricetag and I have to say that it’s a really great mascara but it isn’t the be all and end all for me due to my preferences. As I’ve said before, I naturally have long and pretty curled dark lashes and I preliminarily look for volume and tend to favour drier formulas — because of this, the formula of this one is too wet for my liking. With this in mind, it’s much less of a wet formula than the hyped L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara and I prefer it as a result. It’s large brush is made of natural bristles and although I haven’t used it in a while, the mascara reminds me so much of an old mascara love of mine, the Benefit BadGal Lash Mascara and in a good way. The natural bristle brush ensures that on days like today when my eyes are sore and itchy (hayfever, woo), the brush does not feel like it’s jabbing into my eyeballs.
The mascara provides a good deal of volume, enough to be impressive on that front whilst not being the most volumizing mascara in the world. However, the mascara does not advertise to be, considering that it’s marketed as a volume and length mascara – on these terms it delivers. It’s really lengthening at the same time without verging into spider-lash territory. It doesn’t provide much separation or curl, though. It doesn’t flake or do anything else as annoying in my experience but actually removes fairly easily with my Bioderma and doesn’t cling to my lashes for dear life. This is a nice thing, by the way.
The bottom line? This is a really great mascara for volume and length that removes without much difficulty but it’s not so life changing that I will have to buy another tube as soon as this one dries out. And here are the before and after shots…
From no mascara to close up with mascara, followed by a zoomed-out shot
It’s not a rare occasion when I ramble on and on about luminous skin, as my skin is rather dry and dull and I’m constantly looking to remedy that but I know not everyone is looking for that all-out dewiness, however, from talking to my friends in real life I know that everyone wants a little bit of luminosity in their life regardless of their skin condition and I thought I’d share an edited selection of my favourites for different concerns. Annnnnnnd, it appears to be completely on trend for this spring.
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl ($36 CDN)
If you, like many, suffer from an oily t-zone, the idea of radiance in any capacity probably makes you want to vomit because you know that it will only make your skin concerns worse. Regardless of the condition of our skin, we all seem to suffer from some winter dullness this time of year and this is a good option for hesitant gals who live in constant fear of any sort of shine on the face in any capacity that want to ease into the slightly glowier territory. Because the subtle golden-pink liquid highlighter can be strategically placed on top of makeup, you don’t have to worry about the luminosity highlighting areas that you don’t want to be highlighted and to control what areas have that luminosity. This is a nice natural-looking highlighter for all though. I love it and if you can stomach the price tag you will too. Also it can be mixed with a heavier-coverage foundation for a little bit of added luminosity without sacrificing on the longevity front.
Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48 CDN)
Radiant foundations have seemed to be having their moment as of late but some of them are intimidatingly glowy and sheer and can contain shimmer but this is my foundation of choice with a radiant but not overtly dewy foundation with a weightless consistency offering medium coverage that is just a touch glowier than a natural finish. Although this hasn’t made its way into a favourites post, I have been really enjoying this lately and I think it would be especially great for someone with combination skin who is looking to add life to their face without sacrificing longevity and getting the dreaded oily t-zone quickly. If only it didn’t have such high alcohol content. For reference, I wear the shade 11 Cream which matches my winter fair-but-not-overly-so skin with somewhat yellow undertones. And this is like the only foundation with sunscreen that does not irritate my skin (I tend to be sensitive to chemical sunscreens) while still not flashing-back.
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)
I know I’m late on the bandwagon with this one but I hadn’t picked it up in the past because I thought it was a sheerer foundation that offered a demi-matte or natural finish and I tend to prefer dewier foundations of that variety but after I had my Lilly Pebbles watching marathon and saw that she found it to be moisturizing and illuminating and then I saw it on sale – I was sold. It goes on quite sheer with a small amount but with a moderate amount and a buffing brush, it offers medium coverage that glides over the usual dry patches and looks invisible on the skin even close up. It’s a really new addition for me but I’ve been obsessed lately. This offers slightly less coverage than the Dior and is more luminous but it does not have any sheen or reflective particles like say Rimmel Wake Me Up but rather looks like hydrated skin. For reference, I wear 130 Shell which is an impressive match for my skin but it is not quite as fair as the Dior. It seems to have great shade offerings for fair skin which I can definitely appreciate – and it caters to both warm and cool undertones. And it neither contains fragrance or alcohol…
MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($30 CDN)
I used to think that powders were the equivalent of the devil’s reincarnate, making the skin look dry and dull, powdery and making their makeup look obvious and clinging to any hint of dryness on the skin but this powder has changed my mind on that. It’s a sheerer powder that does all that powders should do – taking down excess shine, smoothing out texture and reducing the appearance of pores – without removing luminosity from the skin. This powder has more of a natural finish rather than a matte one which is impressive. It’s dare I say invisible on the skin.
Laura Mercier Radiance Primer ($24/40 CDN)
I will admit that I picked this up as a Sephora 100 Point Perk as it contained an impressive amount of product (0.5 oz) but I’m contemplating purchasing it when I run out. Although I wouldn’t say it actually helps with the longevity of makeup or pores or anything, it’s a really gentle formula that weightlessly hydrates the skin while bringing a refined glow to the skin and helping foundation to glide on more smoothly.
Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder ($36 CDN)
For some reason when thinking about glow-inducing products, I tend to forget about blushes but blushes like these sometimes are the easiest way to get that luminosity. Although it’s not cheap, this finely-milled warm rusty rose blush reads as glowy skin as it’s not overtly shimmery. I swear this brings instant life to the face without reading as makeup.
Maybelline Master Highlight in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)
A few weeks back, I was going on and on about my newfound love for this and this has not changed. At a more affordable cost, this “bronzer” – I use it as a blush – has that smooth and subtly luminous texture, imparting a warm-toned rosy copper glow to the cheeks.
Do you love the luminous look? What products do you go for when you want to look glowy?
I’ve said it before but I feel compelled to say it again – I don’t really abide to the whole ‘you wear dark colours in the winter and corals in the summer and only the summer’ kind of thing. My staple lipsticks do change with the season, however and I thought I’d share mine. If you’ve visited my blog before you would know that I’m fair with yellow-undertones and have cool-toned brown hair but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I have pale, somewhat ghastly looking lips and this does influence the kind of shades I like — browns look more brown on me because of the lack of pigment in them and I look like I time-travelled from the early nineties, I’m sure you get the gist. And pinks, especially cool-toned pinks look horrible on me so they won’t be featured here.
MAC Patisserie ($18 CDN) is that effortless, nude-y shade that adds life to my face while still looking relatively natural. I don’t like the phrase but it fits in the ‘my lips but better’ category’ as it’s a darker nude. The undertones are a warm pinky-brown and the lustre finish is forgiving and foolproof to apply. It’s been part of the daily rotation ever since I bought it in October. This is one of the only shades that looks good with any sort of makeup.
L’Oreal Sunset Angora ($12 CDN) is not your typical fall/winter colour at all — in fact it pretty much screams summer — but I think it’s flattering on me and I reach for it often — at least I have since I picked it up recently, but I’m sure it will remain a favourite. Aside from the old-fashioned smell (blech!), the lipstick is notable for its light hydrating texture and sheen. It’s a creme formula medium-toned pink coral with warm undertones. Another everyday kind of shade like Patisserie but this one packs more punch. This is about as pink as I’m able to get, it appears.
Revlon Lip Butter in Cherry Tart ($9 CDN) was not a product I fell in love with immediately after first use. I’ve had it for four months, I believe, and I had lukewarm feelings towards it before a month or two ago — I dug it out again and found that I really liked it with minimal makeup for that bitten, rosy glossy lip. It’s easy to wear because of it’s sheerness and it’s especially great if you want to wear red lips and are intimidated by doing so. I think the undertones are quite neutral if you were curious.
MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick ($18 CDN) is easily one of those famous, cult-classic red lips and I absolutely adore it. It is not the kind of lipstick that gets the most use on a daily basis (but I have worn it during the day!) but it’s the perfect red to pair with minimal makeup for that sophisticated look. Wearing such a showstopping red in the winter at your palest is a look I adore and Ruby Woo is the product for the job. It’s a retro matte which means that it wears for ages and ages on the lips but is so so drying and can look patchy as it fades. It’s a bright almost-neon red with slight-cool undertones. This is undoubtedly my favourite true-red lipstick.
Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing ($10-11 CDN), yet another lipstick love of mine that fits into the red colour family, has a wonderful hydrating and smooth formulation in the pencil format that I adore. As I’ve mentioned a few times on recent posts, it is a glossy deep red with good buildable pigmentation with neutral undertones and a hint of brown to it. This is one of those deeper shades in the berry colour family that is easier to wear and can be applied on a more everyday basis without requiring much maintenance.
Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan ($30 CDN) is easily the most expensive lip product that has ever been in my possession and my acquisition of it resulted from the recent VIB Promotion at Sephora and I know I bought it recently but it was love at first sight — the perfect hydrating and long-wearing dark lip. I’m not going to get into much about the formula as you can expect a more detailed post in the near future but I will say that it wears evenly on the lips for a long time. It’s described as a “spiced wine” but it has more red in it than that in my opinion. It’s a warm burgundy shade with slight brown undertones without being brown at all. It knocked my loved MAC Dubonnet out of this top five and that should say something. I need more of these, pronto.
What are your favourite lip products for the cooler seasons?
My latest makeup crisis has been lip colour related. I know that nudes, reds and vampy shades are in season at the moment but sometimes we don’t want to wear either of the three. My problem is that as I’ve said many times before, the natural pink-y shades do not work on my skin-tone particularly if they are cool-toned and that leaves coral-y shades which tend to scream summer. However, I really find lighter coral shades flattering and I think the whole you wear this colour in the summer and this other colour in the winter to be particularly irritating and limiting. These two lipsticks would typically be thought of as summer shades but I’ve been incorporating them throughout the cooler months as well — they’re what neutral shades look flattering on me. In my opinion, wear whatever makeup whenever you want to. End Rant.
I picked up Juicy Papaya ($9) as soon as I spotted the four newerRevlon Lip Butters in my local drugstore sometime in August and I’ve been making good use of it ever since. The formula is nice and hydrating, lasting the 3-4 hours on the lips and being foolproof to apply. Blah, blah, blah. I’m that weird girl who adores that these have no scent or taste — I generally find scented products weird with the exception of mint-scented ones. This shade is difficult to describe but my best attempt would be to call it a warm-toned muted light coral shade. It’s exactly what I was hoping MAC Shy Girl to be but wasn’t.
L’Oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Sunset Angora($12)is a much more recent addition to my makeup stash; I’ve been hesitant to pick one up because they retail for more than ten dollars and I’ve been waiting for a sale but they might just be worth their surprisingly high price tag. Going by the formula of this shade — a muted medium-toned warm-toned pink coral –, this moisturizing lipstick offering from L’Oreal might give Revlon a run for its money… well aside from the annoying perfume-y smell that is. Compared to these, the lip butters are thick and waxy on the lips and feel more like they’re coating your lips, whereas these feel lighter and more hydrating on the lips. The pigmentation is at least as good and they wear for the same amount of time.
Have you tried either of these? Do you think coral lips can be worn in the dead of winter?
FACE: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Montblanc, Make Up For Ever 5 Concealer Cream Palette in 1, NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny, Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Blush in Rose, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl
EYES: NYX HD Eyeshadow Base, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, Urban Decay Naked Palette, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl, Lancome Le Crayon Khol in Black Ebony, L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara, Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette
LIPS: EOS Peach lip balm, Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya
There’s something about a subtle(r) smoky eye that works in this late autumn time of year (it feels like winter here in Canada so I cannot bring myself to call it Fall). Sometimes you want to get all into the spirit of the season without wearing the high(er)-maintenance bold lip and this is when I favor the flattering slightly-messy daytime smoky eye.
From the stress of the impending doom otherwise known as finals and the great lack of sleep I’ve been getting I presume, my skin decided to go on protest and I woke up this morning with a big, painful underneath-the-skin blemish that’s impossible to cover along with the usual blemishes, bumps and general dehydration issues.
As per usual (even more-so this time of year) I slathered on some moisturizer immediately before starting the face in the hope of a glow – my current pick is Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer. When I woke up this morning three words were on my tongue “Nars Sheer Glow” and true to my word I used my sample from Sephora that I haven’t used in ages as it has been too pale but I’m back to my natural fair state so it worked. This foundation sort of reminds me of Rimmel Wake Me Up but with a tad more coverage and no shimmer and I really wish I bought this instead of Diorskin Nude. Alas… It gave my skin that glow while still providing very good coverage (with the aid of some heavy-duty concealer on the hideous zit painful spot) without looking ridiculous. I’m resisting the urge to run to Sephora and purchase it right now – but honestly it’s high on my mental wishlist.
Apparently subconsciously I was determined to use the Naked Palette in an everyday sort of way without using my favourite highlight/lid shade Sin so my brain in its typically irrational sense used another shade in the same vein as Sin to use in its place so every eyeshadow look I post did not include that one shade — I used the pale golden champagne outer-ring of the limited-edition and no longer available MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl (but in all honesty most MSFs are rather similar) on the inner-third of my lid. The warm medium-toned reddy bronze Toasted went on the rest of the lid and was blended into the crease and then Hustle was blended into the outer v and Creep was blended slightly into the lashes. The result was that sort of hazy and warm smoky eye that wasn’t too attention grabbing.
I was determined to use a strictly non-Autumnal lipstick so I went for the easy and somewhat unseasonal Revlon Juicy Papaya Lip Butter and I was feeling bored with my blush choices so I pulled out the forgotten-about Physician’s Formula Rose Happy Booster – great rosy shade but the colour has to be built up and the longevity leaves some to be desired.
What are your thoughts on my weekly (or more often than that) face posts? What have you been reaching for lately?
There are two beauty-related thoughts that frequently came to my mind frequently in the last month; I have been in a major makeup rut and that it pisses me off to no end when bloggers list 102 items as their favourites and we all know that it’s simply a list of products they used – not helpful for those of us with a limited makeup budget. As a result of these two things, I have sort of edited myself to compile a list of beauty essentials this month (not just stuff I wore a few times and went overboard).
I was never a lip-gloss girl, never even in my late elementary school or junior high days and because of this I thought I would not be a fan of the whole ‘lip butter’ craze because of their glossiness. However, Revlon lip products were on for a rare buy one get one free promotion and I picked one up to feed my makeup addiction. I think the hype is sort of worth it. The colour I have is Pink Truffle which is a warm, rosy browny pink that is a no-fuss kind of shade. The texture is like a waxy balm and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it lasted on my lips for maybe three hours
At the end of last month, I ran out of my go-to eye primer, Urban Decay Primer Potion that came in my Urban Decay palettes and as I am currently broke and spent way too much money on makeup (story of my life), I switched to something I already owned, my Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded. I’m sure everyone and their cat knows this, but these are long-lasting cream eye shadows that double as bases like MAC Paint Pots. It is a shimmery gold-based light champagne sort of colour. I would say the shade is a darker version of MAC Dazzlelight with a touch more champagne in it or is a slightly lighter version of Urban Decay Sin with golden undertones instead of the pink. The texture is ultra-creamy (creamier than the other one of this line that I own) and has good longevity. I do find that this shade performs better as a primer/base than Bad to the Bronze, as it lasts longer without fading and creasing. It performs almost as good as a primer and also doubles as a stand-alone shade..
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liner in Perversion is another one of those products seems to be a cult-favourite that I’ve found essential in the last month. It is a creamy jet-black that has amazing longevity, in that difficult-to-remove kind of way. It’s quite versatile as it provides the intensity of a gel or liquid, yet can be smudged out with the ease of a pencil.
I picked up Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips New Eyes Palette towards the end of last month and initially was quite disappointed; it’s not completely practical to have a palette of nine entirely shimmery shades, the shades are a touch sheer and there is not much variation in the depth of the shades. Needless to say, it got used and grew on me. It’s a palette full of those rare taupey shades (there are ten of them in all). My favourite shades in particular were as follows: the light taupe with golden undertones (third from left) and the other light taupe with grey undertones (middle) on the lid, the taupey brown with purple-y undertones (second from left) and the taupey brown with grey undertones (forth from left) in the crease and outer-v and the frosty yellow-toned white (farthest on the right) in the inner corners. This is the kind of palette that is good for everyday looks but is lacking somewhat for more dramatic ones. The shadows do have a nice texture and are easy to blend, I have to say.
I find it particularly difficult to find affordable drugstore conditioners I like but L’Oreal Power Moisture Moisture Infusion Mask really impressed me. I find it very moisturizing without coating my fine hair and weighing it down (like it claims to do), but I think of it more as an everyday conditioner than a heavy mask – but I do have very dry wavy slash curly hair that is quite long. It does contain non water-soluble silicones high in the ingredient list, but I do not find amodimethicone to build up on my hair and its conditioning agents are not oils but rather emollients, the wax mineral oil is derived from and a small amount of hyaluronic acid. The only downside to the product is the artificial-floral scent and it fades after being rinsed out.
I’ve been really enjoying using Organix Luxurious Moroccan Argan Creme Shampoo this month. I was a fan of the regular Argan-oil shampoo in the Organix line but like this one even better. It is sulfate-free but cleanses with gentler surfactants (Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and Cocomidopropyl Betatine) and the only silicone it contains is water soluble. It contains a fair amount of Argan oil and I do find it to be a moisturizing gentle shampoo that does not weigh my hair down in the least. It has the same amazing sort of scent that MoroccanOil products have.
I’ll start of by apologizing for the current state of this product but I used it and haven’t gotten around to cleaning it yet (and it stains anyway). About a month ago, I saw a Beauty Blender replica at Shoppers Drugmart for a few dollars and after hearing great things about the seemingly magical sponge I couldn’t resist. When used damp, the sponge expertly blends in makeup without wasting too much of the product.