Spring Essentials

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As fun and entertaining as the generic full-on ‘Spring Edit’ kind of posts are to read, I decided to hold off on doing one at the beginning of spring and thought that instead I would share what my essential products were over the entire duration of Spring as these longer-term favourite products tend to be left without mention around here. So these products have most likely been rambled on here before (some more than others of course) but I thought I would share these staples regardless…

When I discovered the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41) in April and fell in instant love, I may have mentioned my love for it one or 224 times but considering that it hasn’t left the daily rotation stash since and I still find myself reaching for it over most of my blushes it deserved a wee bit more mention. The luminous-satin cooler-pink toned blush seems to actually kind of blur imperfections (sounds like crazytalk, huh?) while leaving the cheeks with that subdued rosy glow that seems to suit any sort of makeup combination. Considering the severity of my blush addiction, the fact that this has made its way into my top two or three blushes of all time is incredible. Who knew, a cool-pink would rise above the gorgeous corals in my books? 

Although the Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48) only made its way into the final cut of one of my monthly favourites posts, it was easily my staple foundation for Spring. With its lightweight texture and ability to blend seamlessly into the skin while offering medium coverage, the radiant satiny foundation was perfection. Unfortunately with the whole faux-tan situation, the foundation is too light for me (I have shade 11 which matches me at my palest) but prior to this it was my everyday foundation. Being radiant but not overly dewy or ‘shiny’, this fit the bill for when the weather began to warm up and my skin turned into more of a dry combination skin type, with more of a normal t-zone compared to my usual all-around dry complexion. I may have to actually pick this up in a darker shade…

Although it is a bitch to remove, especially considering that it is not a waterproof formulation, the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-11) appears to have replaced Maybelline The Falsies in my heart as my favourite mascara over the last few months – shock-horror. The mascara produces dramatic lashes, both in the volume and length department but the separation offered by the brush keeps the lashes looking natural and defined, away from that clumpy mess. And, the separation from the brush allows this mascara to deliver for both top and bottom lashes. This mascara makes my lashes look ‘pretty amazing’, as in I’ve been complimented in real life for my lashes numerous times while wearing this one and this was while I was wearing glasses if you’re interested.

My love for the Maybelline The Buffs Colorsensational Lipstick in Nude Lust ($9 CDN) didn’t occur overnight — in fact, it’s neutral beige-almost-shadowy undertones put me off originally but over the past few months this shade has become one of my absolute go-tos with its non-drying formula that glides over dry patches, nice longevity and comfort as well as its status as a slightly darker non-ghastly nude that doesn’t pull brown. I don’t normally go for beige undertones in nude lipsticks but this one has convinced me to change my mind on that front; this is the perfect nude that can be worn on an everyday basis, regardless of whether you’re wearing a heavy smoky eye or just minimal makeup.

In general, I’m a real failure when it comes to documenting my nail polish trials and obsessions and this is evidence of one of them. I might not have always had this on my nails but the rosy-tan hue, namely the OPI Nail Polish in Tickle My France-y ($9 CDN) that I got for Christmas in the lovely Take Ten Mini Set from one of my favourite people ever, Lauren, who lets me talk her ear off about beauty products without getting annoyed, has been on my nails the most and I’ve been happy with the way they’ve looked. The formula isn’t the longest lasting ever but it does last above average on my nails and it does take a few coats to build up but the shade isn’t streaky so I can’t complain and it is pretty much foolproof, going with everything and adding some flattering warmth to my nails. I never would have expected to like this hue as it seemed kind of dull but I have to say that this amped-up neutral shade has its merits.

I mentioned the OGX Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($9-11 CDN) before in my March Favourites for good reason but as the weather has been getting warmer, I’ve fallen a little bit more in love with the lightweight but hydrating curl cream for my loose curls as it keeps them hydrated whilst keeping them as bouncy as can be and defined. I have the kind of hair that does well with glycerin-heavy lightweight curl creams as the weather gets warmer and this one delivers on that front for a bargain with a luxurious spa-like scent to boot!

I may have only discovered the Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($9-12 CDN) at the beginning of April but it’s proved its merits, joining the nightly rotation to remove makeup. Whilst it is mineral-oil heavy, – which is not necessarily a cause for concern – the slightly messy cleansing oil removes everything in seconds without irritating the skin in the slightest (and rather nourishing and soothing the skin) and when emulsified rinses clean. It’s one of those rare affordable cleansers that removes makeup and all that jazz gently (but effectively) while keeping with that luxurious feel, leaving the skin soothed even after its removal.

I have dry skin, to state the obvious but since the weather has become warmer and such, my forehead and t-zone have began to itch closer to behaving like a more normal skin type and the lightweight and fast-absorbing REN Evercalm/Hydracalm Global Protection Day Cream ($54 CDN) has been ideal for soothing the skin and providing hydration without feeling heavy. Although this moisturizer is not necessarily holy-grail material, I think its brilliant on someone with even combination skin to hydrate and soothe without feeling heavy or promoting shininess.

What have your spring essentials been?

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Medley #17

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(1) evidence of writing the skincare series this week (2) if you’re total order at Sephora was $40 it clearly doesn’t count… (3) the lovely Natalie who writes the blog thunderl0ve that has been added to my bookmarks this week – it’s that good… (5) Essie Bikini So Teeny (6) the weekly product picks (7) the weekly selfie featuring the blush in question on the cheeks

Yet another pretty monotonous and nondescript week has gone by; I’m pleased to report that nothing semi-catastrophic happened but nothing of the particularly exciting sort happened – other than a fun low-key night with friends. I feel like I can sum-up my week into two phases – the first half of the week was characterized by continuing on in attempting to get somewhat in shape without leaving my living room that I started at the beginning of last week and the accompanying aches and pains and then suddenly the second half of the week was full of gorgeous sunny weather outside that could only be classified as hot and required things like sunscreen and shaved legs.

Right at the beginning of the week directly after the Sephora incident shown above, I went into the drugstore and Essie was on sale for a few dollars of so it was kind of expected that a polish or two would be coming home with me and the pale cornflower blue Essie Bikini So Teeny went right onto my nails and remained there until the very end of the week with minimal chipping. I’m kind of in love with the shade as it is a pastel blue kind of hue with a kind of different spin to it and the formula actually lasted on my chipping-prone nails. Being a light shade, it’s not the most opaque polish in the world, definitely requiring two solid coats but at the very least it wasn’t streaky or anything of that sort. I might be in love.

There’s another product of the beauty variety that stood out this  last week was the L’Oreal True Match Blush in Innocent Flush and if you’ve been reading my posts as of late and have a good memory, you’re probably aware that I initially misjudged this one. At fifteen dollars for a drugstore product, this is certainly not a bargain but this peachy-coral shade with that golden sheen is well worth it. In fact, I think I only went for a different blush once last week – ohemgee groundbreaking. Pretty much, it’s just a smooth-textured coral blush with a creamy texture that adds that glow to the cheeks that instantly perks up my face but it does deliver at a slightly lower price point and has that peachiness that differentiates it from the other 284847 coral blushes I own. I might have a slight blush hoarding problem, if you catch my drift.

On The Blog…

1. Weekly Medley #16 2. Skincare Thoughts and Tidbits 3. My Skincare Saviors 4. The Daily Face #15 5. Lip Product Addict Tag

You could easily have a different take on this than me, but I thought that this was one of my better weeks, putting out five posts that I’m pleased with and actually committing to writing the little skincare series that I’ve been pondering over for ages and ages without any sort of action occurring. I plan on doing a few more posts in the next little while, if you’re curious, but I do plan on trying to write a few more skincare posts on a regular basis in the future — thoughts?

I can’t be one hundred percent certain that these plans will come to fruition but in the next week you can expect another installment in the skincare series (or perhaps even two…) and perhaps a roundup of my essential beauty products throughout the duration of spring. I’d love to hear any sort of post requests as always!

How was your week?

Maggie, x.

The Daily Face #15: Warm-Weather Makeup

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Contrary to the general pattern as of late, today was a gorgeous warm sunny day – but not so warm that makeup would be a no-go, of course. I’ve gotten into a bit of a different daily routine – but not too different, you know me… – with slightly different daily staples and I thought I would share the warm-weather centric makeup.

When it’s been warm and sunny, I’ve been reaching for the authentic Skin 79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream, as it offers good coverage with some added radiance and great sun protection – without using chemical sunscreens that make my skin burn and all that jazz. My skin has been pretty good so I went straight onto under-eye brightening with the magical Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque. Because sunscreen-heavy products tend to produce somewhat of a sheen, I made sure to dust the MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder through my t-zone.

Despite rambling on about more traditional bronzers frequently in posts as of late, the slightly warm-toned MAC Harmonyhas reigned supreme for adding for adding colour and shape and in the last week or two, I’ve been reaching for the L’Oreal True Match Blush in N3-4 Innocent Flushthat I previously dismissed as lacking longevity and any sort of novelty; while it’s not going to knock out MAC Stereo Rose etc. as my favourite coral blush with that golden sheen, I had misjudged this one as it does have good longevity, pigmentation and texture. As of late, I’ve also consistently been going for highlighter, namely the long-since unavailable MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl. Because I tend to find that the BB Cream can sit on my skin slightly unevenly, I misted my face with the Nyx Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray – I’m undecided on my final verdict on this setting spray, if you were wondering.

I’m now convinced that the L’Oreal Superliner Brow Artist in Blonde is certainly worth of praise – it seems a little dark for it’s name as it works for my medium-brown hair but the ashy-toned pencil-wax duo, paired with the mini-brush creates easy but naturally-defined brows. I suspect you’ll hear more on this on a later post… Because shadows need a base or primer of some sort, I grabbed for the ever-popular Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad To The Bronze but the real star of the show is the Dior Grege Quint that I picked up a few weeks ago (and featured it in a haul-type post) and have hardly put down since. I’ve ignored this quint in the past despite knowing the great quality of these shadows as the offerings looked neutral and boring but that could hardly be farther from the truth – the shades are surprisingly versatile for daily use with their variety of finishes. The sheeny grey shade was patted onto the outer-half of the lid, the ivory was applied to the inner corner region to lighten it up and the dark matte chocolate brown was blended into the outer corner and further used as liner. Since finding the L’Oreal brow pencil, my MAC 266 has been freed-up and I’ve fallen in love with using the brush with shadow as slightly-smoky liner. For mascara I’ve been consistently reaching for the Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascarathat I recently picked up as it provides easy adequate volume a la Benefit BadGal Lash and is not an absolute bitch to remove.

I’ve been feeling a coral lip lately, especially with the grey-toned shadow and because my lips are kind of in rough shape at the moment, I went for the hydrating and forgiving MAC Lipstick in Dreaming Dahliathat of course is no longer available for it was part of the MAC A Fantasy of Flowers Collection.

Thoughts on this ‘look’? What have you been reaching for lately?

Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #16

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(1) the lazy Saturday face (2) the obligatory self-promotion: “An Affordable Curly-Hair Styling Duo” (3) I think I might love my Rimmel foundations a wee bit (4) “I went in for one thing and came out with 7 – whoops” (5) attempt to photograph OPI Tickle My France-y involving hardcore yoga balancing (6) slightly more successful nail photo (7) OMG I bought clothes

Being my ever-so-slightly wordy English major self, I tend to abhor the whole institution of using words such as blah and like frequently to describe events and the like, even on my little beauty corner on the internet but despite having a few days to mull it over, I cannot come up with a more articulate yet accurate way to describe my week. This was one of those typical Spring weeks of constant rain and unappealing weather outside and a constant feeling of grogginess — in other words this was one of those dull blah kind of weeks when the days kind of passed into a blur. I wasn’t doing nothing all week but I’m definitely more than aware that I was not being as productive as I should. Story of my life, honestly. On a more positive note, I was adequately consistent on the posting front, getting out six posts in the last week and I was pleased with them overall. It’s nice to be satisfied with your blogging week even when your actual week might have left much to be desired – in my view, at least.

If you’re someone who has a love/hate relationship with shopping, where it can uplift your mood and spirits until that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach of buyers remorse like me, days when you head out expecting to pick one thing up and then ending up with at least ten your bank account reads at least $100 dollars lower are neither wholly exciting or wholly torturous. This happened midway through the week for me but in my defense my purchases were practical things rather than of the more frivolous kind and there was loads of sale action happening. And shocker I picked up three pieces of clothing because American Eagle was having one of those buy one get one for blah-blah-blah kind of promotions and was offering their clearance items for additional ridiculous savings. I’m pleased with both the beauty items and the fashion items that I picked up and do not regret picking them up or curse the Canadian return policy on drugstore cosmetics.

I’m not one to end up losing makeup in a permanent way — most often misplaced items can be quickly found my searching underneath my bed or emptying out my purse– but when I actually was without my Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticingfor a good month, I realized how great the comfortable and easy dark red was in the balm-y formula so I had to replace the one I lost when Revlon lip products were on for 25% off. However, I did not think that along with this necessary purchase would be another six items but it happened nevertheless… I won’t get all focused in on the details now as I’m planning on doing a collective thoughts kind of post in a week or two after trying the products – thoughts? So, I lied and being proud that I nabbed these practical purchases at somewhat of a discounted price and thinking that any of you fellow Canadians might be able to hit up Lawton’s to join in on the same deal- if it’s still on – I thought I would give you a rundown of the products I picked up and the price that I paid for them: Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing/Vivacious ($7.46), Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara in Blackest Black ($7.46), Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in 210 Casino Lights ($5.99), L’Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist in Blonde ($7.99), Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat ($7.49) and La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Anti-Redness Intensive Serum ($26.40).

Although I must admit their colour range does leave much to be desired, I have to say that I’m a huge fan of Rimmel’s foundations — they are on the more affordable side of the drugstore variety, neither dry out or irritate the rather fragile skin on my face and come in fairer shades with warm undertones that fall on the more yellow-toned side of things. It is by no means a new development that I’m loving my Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – I’ve quite possibly rambled on about my love for this product more than any other product on here but after not loving it on my skin after I had that exam-period blemish problem last month as the teensy bit of shimmer can highlight imperfections slightly – but I’m also loving my newly purchased Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse foundation so in the last week or two I’ve been switching between the two and out of my love for both have had a hard time picking which foundation to go for. As I’ve said before, the Stay Matte isn’t all that matte or shine-controlling but it offers excellent coverage in a weightless cream kind of formula that can be blended seamlessly into the skin and does not cling to dry patches it seems. I should mention that the second offering is appealingly budget-friendly and appears to come in lighter shades so its a great one for the fairer skinned but if you’re anything more than tanned it might not be such a great option.

How was your week?

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

5 Current Lusts #2: May

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Source: Zara's website, Sephora's website, Sephora's website again, Zara's website again, mackarrie.com

After getting down to write my first wishlist kind of posts a few months back, I would have expected to be putting out a much later installment now but my indecision and procrastination has bested me again. Now that it’s May with Spring kind of in full-swing — I’m a poet and I didn’t know it — these are an edited selection of beauty products and attire that I’ve been looking at to transition into Summer and complete the whole spring thing. Thanks to my rekindled interest in that whole style venture, induced majorly by Sophie’s minimal wardrobe posts, there are a few more fashion bits thrown in with the beauty…

(i) Zara Strappy Lace Top in Off-White ($59.90 CDN):

Whilst the price-tag of this one might not appear the most budget friendly, it is staple tops like these that are lightweight and comfortable yet interesting that when paired with the basics make my kind of favourite outfits so they’re worthwhile. The cream colour of this one keeps it versatile as does the fact that it isn’t so form-fitting or revealing and therefore it looks more laid back than nighttime. All in all, pieces like these are valuable in my book.

(ii) Deva-Curl B’Leave-In ($26 CDN):

I’m aware that repurchased items aren’t usually included in wishlist posts and I’ve mentioned wanting to pick this up before but I’m including this one anyways. The protein-treatment boosted my curls, infusing them with vitality when I used this constantly last summer and now that I seem to have the rest of my routine under control, I figured that this would be a valuable addition.

(iii) Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light ($52 CDN):

After falling in love with Ethereal Glow, one of the blushes that corresponds with these supposedly magical airbrushing finishing powders, I just have to try one finally and the shade that I’ve heard would be ideal for all over the face to eliminate some redness and set while adding some gold is this one.

(iV) Zara Round Neck Sweater in Orange ($49.90 CDN):

Although I currently own maybe one piece from Zara, I’m a huge fan of the store and as I don’t have one as close as a days trip to me, I was excited to learn that they offered extremely affordable shipping (free with $50) and free returns and this was what was my other top pick. I love lightweight sweaters like this one and it actually seems like a practical purchase to me so I can’t refuse obviously. I like the laid-back slouchy shape of the thin sweater and the tangerine hue is different in a good way and would pair wonderfully with the staples I already have.

(V) MAC Alluring Aquatic Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite’s Shell ($38.50 CDN):

After a good few years of investing in (and loving) MAC’s big spring releases, I’ve developed quite a soft spot for them and this bronzer has caught my eye and the attention of my thinning wallet. I’ve always been eager to try one of the ‘Extra Dimension’ products from MAC and despite being a bronzer girl, I don’t have too many in my possession so I’ve convinced myself that this purchase is justified. This more golden-hued and less orangey offering shall be mine…

What have been your top wishlist picks as of late? Have you tried/do you own any of these?

Maggie, x.

 

 

The Rainy Day Edit

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Here in my small corner in the realm of beauty blogging, I seem to see Spring constantly depicted as a season of sunshine, warmth and clear skies but here Spring may have the occasional really warm day, but is generally rainy, overcast and not overly warm on most occasions. Honestly, most of the time it’s all gross, rainy and wet. I thought I would share some of my most appreciated beauty products for getting me up and at ’em on days like these.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($26 CDN):Although beneficial oils like this one has much more benefits than purely radiance-boosting but it really is a lifesaver for saving lackluster dull skin and adding in some luminosity while being soothing. Because it is a dry oil, this oil can be used during the daytime without leaving that heavy oily residue and this is what sets it apart from others.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($22 CDN):Do you want to know a secret about my daily beauty routine? Well, it’s not particularly novel or interesting but I don’t wear makeup every day of the week and with no shame I rock the bare face out and about but on those no-makeup days during this dull and dreary weather, I slather my face with this soothing moisture mask with nice results — although this is a thick mask, it does absorb over time and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin so it’s no sort of irritation to use. I always use this a few times a week but at the moment I’m reaching for it more frequently because it seems to soothe the skin like nothing else and add vitality back in instantly.

Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($6-8 CDN): I have naturally curly hair so it shouldn’t be a shock that when my hair comes into contact with this kind of humidity, it falls flat and frizzes and turns into knot central and this can be a lifesaver to add life to the roots of my hair and avoid the flat and limp effect with the added texture and body.

Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation ($26 CDN): Gross days like these call for a truly dewy kind of base product that looks like skin and this is my pick but I must admit that it is likely that I chose this one because I can finally wear it; I have it in shade 73 from when I picked it up in the early fall last year when I apparently still had some colour and with the little bit of fake-tanning that I have going on at the moment its perfect. The coverage is only a touch more than light but it works wonders at providing gorgeous radiant skin and evening out some tone. 

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder in Sunny ($3 CDN):Normally I’m quite a blush girl, gushing about relying on it to add some life and brightness to the face but lately in this gloomy rainy weather, I’ve been enjoying skipping the blush in the name of some more all-over bronzing and I’ve been using this matte warm-toned bronzer. When applied more liberally on the cheeks as well as on the sides of the face, I find it keeps everything from looking so drained and dreary.

Maybelline Coloursensational ‘The Buffs’ Lipstick in Nude Lust ($9-10 CDN):Although I’m an advocate for the bold lip in general, there’s something that doesn’t sit well in me when I wear these brights on days like these, so the neutral lipstick that does not wash you out but rather does the opposite is needed and this darker nude with a hint of brown in it does the trick flawlessly. If only the formula were slightly more forgiving on chapped patches…

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish ($37 CDN):As strange as this may seem given that I’m drier-skinned and are always searching for that glow, I’m not someone who goes for a highlighter on a daily basis, however when everything is a little dark and dreary, in need of light, I go for this one. Now, I have the long-gone Semi-Precious Pearl shade but I’m sure any of these smooth highlighting powders would function in the same way, instantly perking up the skin.

What do you find yourself reaching for on these Spring rainy days?

Maggie, x.

 

 

Weekly Medley #15

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(1) The pre-movies face (2) The loved product of the week (3) My face again, obviously (4) evidence that I am no longer ghastly pale – woo (5) the show that I’ve Netflix-marathoned this week (6) the blog that rekindled my fixation on style

This week was an uneventful one, I’m afraid, but it would be difficult for me to be happier about it. Although I can say that I actually went out and socialized in public this week, wrote up a few posts and made some major organizational headway, this was not a particularly eventful or productive week but for once that does not ensure impending doom. And, let me just express my incredulity over the fact that it is now May.

After not buying clothes in ages as regardless of my share of wholehearted efforts to look stylish or pulled together through attire/outfits because I always failed in the face or comfort or whatever, becoming more indifferent about this whole style-oriented thing, my interest has been rekindled this week. That’s not exactly true — there’s been a gradual change but I might have just become more conscious of it all of a sudden. I suppose I admired the style and whole pulled-togetherness that some bloggers and vloggers that I adore exude and then bam, I found myself scouring through Sophie’s blog and found myself inspired by her minimal style posts and addicted and possibly found myself addicted to her other posts as well – I’m sure you know how it is. The picture above in the bottom-right is taken from one of these posts titled, “The Basic Wardrobe” and it’s definitely one to commit to memory if you ask me. In light of this, you might expect the occasional style post or mention in these posts but don’t worry, I haven’t lost any of my focus on all things beauty in the slightest.

Despite being someone who embraces their paleness and doesn’t obsessively yearn to be completely bronzed all of the time, there’s a product of the self-tanning variety that has earned it’s rightful place of mention as the weekly beauty highlight. Being generally incompetent in general and oblivious to the world of fake-tanning, I went for a less intimidating product- a standard gradual tanner- namely the  Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer in Medium to Tan and I’m glad I did. It’s not a dramatic product but this is definitely a perk for me as after a few days of repeated use there is quite a difference and it looks natural. I accidentally picked up the darker shade but I’m glad I did, as it gives me that natural-looking beige-yellow kind of tan that matches my natural undertones. But for me what stands out about the product is that my extremely-sensitive eczema-prone body skin can tolerate this product with no irritation involved – rather it is actually moisturizing – and it goes on fairly evenly even over my rough skin that cannot tolerate any sort of scrubbing action. There may be a few hints of unevenness in colour along my wrists/hands and a select few severe dry patches on my skin but apparently it looks as if I actually got it from the sun — my friends actually thought the shade was authentic. This is no miracle worker but it has found a home in my everyday routine and doesn’t require much fuss.

How was your week?

Maggie, x.