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.

November 2014 Favourites

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For the first time ever – or more accurately since I’ve begun to blog – I was so very tempted to skip putting up a favourites post this last month. Why? You know that these are some of my favourite posts to write and read but in the last month things haven’t been exciting beauty-wise and I’ve been so stressed and laden-down with schoolwork that it’s ridiculous. Plus, there are certain moments that I would not particularly like to relive from within the last thirty days. Alas, I pulled through for you and maybe for my own sense of ego – as you can imagine, I can be rather hard on myself for my failures. Here we go.

Conair Shower Comb ($3-5 CDN)

Within last month’s craziness, I managed to pop into a drugstore and pick up this basic wide-tooth comb with detangling bits attached – like those on traditional brushes – for just a few dollars. Little did I know then that this was going to turn out to be the most effective detangling instrument that I’ve ever tried on my tanglier-than-tangly clump-prone mane.

DevaCare Arc AnGel ($26/54 CDN)

As a general rule, I had been putting more effort into my hair in November and I had been pleased with the results. This gel has been perfect, as I’m sure I’ve said before, not being drying or heavy or anything of that sort while being defining and potent enough that I haven’t ran through the bottle quickly – with my hair’s tendency to eat up product ridiculously.

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

Over the last month or two, I’ve been experiencing tight, dry, itchy and flaky skin all over my body, as opposed to just in my usual eczema-prone areas and I’ve been enjoy using this rich hydrating cream pretty much everywhere except my legs. It smells zesty and lime like and in all honesty, it smells like a margarita in the best way possible while also being somewhat soothing and intensively hydrating on the skin, and not just pure irritating fragrance. Love.

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By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($13/26 CDN)

I’m someone who fortunately has been blessed (or cursed) with a body that can withstand serious stress, sleep deprivation and the like but the havoc that I wreck on my nervous system really comes out in my skin and not just all over my body. This paired with the fluctuating wintry weather that you’ve come to expect in Canada during November has kept my skin dehydrated and more than a little irritated in areas with the feeling of eczema patches coming on. In light of this, I’ve been using this repairing oil as a serum in the evenings and a good number of mornings to. I credit this along with constancy for the clarity of my skin during this current craziness.

L’Oreal Infallible Super-Slim 12Hr Liner ($8-9 CDN)

Makeup was not exactly gracing my face on my typical regular basis last month and when it was, there was not a whole lot going on and when I’m going for a more minimal makeup situation, intense black liner is key. I’ve been enjoying using this somewhat stiff (in a good way) and precise felt-tip liner for a little kitten flick on a very regular basis when I want to look put together quickly with minimal effort and time. I like it similar to the Lineur Intense but I’ve been enjoying its increased precision, while I admit that it doesn’t create as smooth and thin of a flick.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque ($30 CDN)

I’ve been using this creamy correcting concealer since the beginning of may and while it pains me to say this, it is worth the money and considering that I can see pan, I will have to repurchase it sooner than later. Last month’s trials in minimal makeup, minimal time and minimal sleep has taught me how great of a quick fix this salmon-hued cream concealer is. My only comment is that it has to set for a few minutes before powdering it or whatever because it tends to settle and crease in the first few minutes – but after its patted in, it never becomes a problem all day long.

What were you loving in November?
Maggie, x.

The Weekend Post | The Productive Pamper

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I’m convinced that there is a reason that we all — in the blogosphere — seem to find ourselves writing posts on the ideal pamper on a frequent basis, in a way that veers towards the obsessive and that said reason is not a lack of originality; there’s something about the power of a pamper, that makes our hectic daily lives a little more relaxed and manageable, I reckon. I have far too much on my growing agenda to abondon in the aim of merely giving myself a little bit of indulgence, however, so I find myself loving the routine of a scaled-down pamper with some productivity thrown in. Now, I’m not necessarily one to look towards for organization inspiration, though. I’m just overcoming my previous status as organizationally impaired.

One. Break down and the list into smaller achievable tasks and write it down.

This seems so obvious but it’s not so simple and easily dismissible as it seems. I can’t even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes when authority figures preached this at me in my earlier school years and while they presented it in the most irritating patronizing manner, they were right in a sense. It’s much easier to get things done when you actually identify what realistically can be accomplished in the time quota and the smaller individual parts that the tasks require. I’m aware of how difficult it can be at first to actually look at what has to get done without making yourself instantly nauseous or panicked.

Two. Gather your tools and edit out the rest.

I’m not someone who has a naturally organized disposition so this was not something that I believed in, in the past but a clutter-free space actually appears to make a difference. I do have to make the effort, forcing myself to get up and choose the necessary items for the whole ordeal and then clean out all of the extras without becoming distracted within he process. It’s not particularly fun — at all — but the tidy-up is a worthy step nonetheless. I’ll get out the books that I have readings that I must get through, my notes if I’m working on some sort of assignment and perhaps my blogging notebook, for example.

Three. Set up the pamper-y atmosphere.

With the previous step down, this one should be a breeze. The whole pampering experience seems to me to be synonymous with the zen-like state and ease that lounging with your feet in the bath, whilst wearing the most luxurious bathrobe and while I wouldn’t go that far on a typical Sunday not-funday, I try to emulate the spa-like experience. I would go for some of the most comfortable and cozy glorified sweatpants-and-a-hoodie combo, embrace the cliche and light a scented candle, with a magazine and cozy blanket within sight.

Four. Work a face mask into the routine and add full-on body cream slather into the mix.

Obviously, the pamper requires pamper products and with productivity in mind, it only makes sense to go for a duo (or trio) of products that bring on that pampered feeling with minimal time and effort while making the whole task of getting stuff done a little bit more enticing. So, I normally would go for a mask but I didn’t because my skin is like the sahara desert at the moment — but I normally would. Instead, I went for the fruit-acid containing Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30) that once mixed with water forms a milky foam that instantly brightens and perks up the skin without adding to the dryness situation or further irritating the skin. Unless you have such irritated skin that body moisturization is a necessity or you are obsessed with the whole experience, you likely aren’t someone who religiously finds themsleves slathering on the lotion twice daily but just going for this indulgent experience can be a breath of fresh air, while being bundled in the most cozy blanket, of course. I use a separate cream on my lower legs on account of my irritated eczema there and this cream is the lovely La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($30) . For the rest of my body, I’ll go for my new Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20) that I adore because it smells like the most appealing zesty margarita and has the most luxurious creamy texture.

Five. Tidy up the nails and whatever that entails.

I may be someone who spent the majority of her life away from that whole mani-pedi nail-painting game but I do recognize the power of having simply tidied nails, whether they are polished or not. Although the whole nail-doing task takes an embarrassing amount of effort for me, the process seems to be tremendously calming on the psyche, whether or not you go for the whole ordeal or are just bringing your nails into tip-top shape with a coat of clear polish on top. The whole upkeep situation has been almost too much for me lately but I’m undecided as to whether I’ll forgo the manicure or not…

Happy (or-not-so-Happy) Sunday!
Maggie, x.