Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015 Favourites

beauty products

It's the end of the month, which means it's time to show you my favourites of the month. Side note: Can you believe it's already March tomorrow? This year is flying by! But, I digress. Onto the favourites!

I don't have as many favourites this month, but they have been well loved. I've really been enjoying the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. It's a good basic eye cream that really does hydrate and plump up the undereye area - crucial during this harsh winter. To continue with the eye products, I rediscovered my love for the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. It's thin in consistency, but still gives decent coverage while being lightweight on the undereye area. Lastly, the Maybelline The Rocket Volume Express Mascara, the waterproof version, has been my mascara of choice. It gives just enough volume and length but still look natural. It also keeps the curl for the entire day. 

Throughout this month, I kept reaching for Dior Palais Royal. It's honestly the perfect nail polish shade right now. It's dark enough to suit the winter months, yet neutral enough to match anything and everything. And every time I've worn this, I've gotten compliments on it. Then there's the newly acquired Dior Addict Lip Glow. I've been loving my tinted lip balms and this moisturises while giving my lips a fresh rosy pink colour. 

Can you tell I really enjoyed my Maybelline and Dior products? 

What were some of your favourite products this month?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #1

Earlier this month, I challenged myself to use up the samples I've been hoarding. At the end of each month, I'll make an update of how many samples I've used up during the month and whether I would purchase the full size.

empty sample beauty products

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate: This is a concentrate, but not a serum. You're supposed to use it after cleansing and before applying your serum and moisturiser. I like that it makes my skin feel so soft after using it, but I have yet to see what the longer-term effects are. I still have two more samples of this, so we'll see if I see and feel the effects it's supposed to have.
Purchase: Maybe - too early to tell.

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream: I've previously used the Bliss hand creams and moisturisers and love the scent of them! This one's a sweet lemon scent. This is a thick and moisturising hand cream that's perfect for the cold seasons.
Purchase: Yes

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: I got this as part of a sampler set. It has a light texture and sinks into the skin pretty quickly. I really like the scent of this moisturiser, but I didn't find it was moisturising enough for me. I also prefer to use moisturisers that have SPF in them.
Purchase: No

Sephora Super Supreme Body Butter: For some reason, the scent of this body butter reminds me of Nivea Creme - the one in the blue pot. Scent aside, I expected this to be a lot more moisturising because of its name. I have other body butters that are more moisturising and in scents that I like more.
Purchase: No

Biotherm Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel: I used this in combination with the sample of the Aquasource Deep Serum and I did find that it worked better when used together. I personally don't prefer gel moisturisers, so I found it was only ok. But it could just be that gels aren't moisturising enough during the winter months.
Purchase: No

Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum: I did like how plump and soft this serum made my skin. I think this is supposed to be used during the daytime since it has shimmery particles in it. Unfortunately, I think this was breaking me out.
Purchase: No

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: So many people rave about this cream and I thought it was only ok. It did sink into my skin quickly without leaving it feeling greasy. However, like I said above, I have other body moisturisers that I like more and are less expensive.
Purchase: No

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Natural Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloth: This is an all-natural cleansing cloth made from bamboo fibres. When I first open the packet, I was surprised at how small the cloth is! It's about half the size of usual cleansing cloths and the scent was not what I was expecting. It's not necessarily bad, but not entirely pleasant either. I didn't find it took off my makeup that well either.
Purchase: No

After the first month of this challenge, I've used up 8 samples. I've found that those little tubes take a lot longer to use than it looks! Hopefully I can keep using up samples at this rate or even quicker!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Favourite Tinted Lip Products

tinted lip products

I'm a pretty low maintenance kind of girl when it comes to lip products. I prefer using products that don't require a mirror to apply and are easy to use on the go. So today, I'm showing you my favourite tinted lip products.

I love lip products that are moisturising any time of the year, but is especially important in this harsh winter weather. So, it's no surprise that most of my picks are tinted lip balms!

The Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments in Rose and Berry are old favourites. I actually quite prefer the original version of this lip balm (I've gone through 2 tubes of them!), but I like the flush of colour the Rose and Berry versions give. These two shades give exactly the kind of tint their shade names indicate.

The next two tinted lip balms are newer purchases, but they've quickly become a couple of my favourite lip products. First is the Dior Addict Lip Glow. It supposedly reacts with your body chemistry to create the perfect shade. For me, it's a bright pink rosy colour, which is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I do like how it looks on me. It's deeply moisturising and is pretty long-lasting for a lip balm. The second one is the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Rosewood. If you're already familiar with the lip gloss version, you'll like these! They're moisturising, have a sweet vanilla flavour and have a glossy finish with a sheer tint. Rosewood is a pinky brown colour - probably my favourite colour family for lip products.

Lastly, we have the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer. This is a recent discovery for me and I've fallen in love with it. It's a moisturising lip gloss that's not sticky at all. Rose Shimmer gives a very pretty light warm rosy pink sheer wash of colour on the lips. It sits comfortably on the lips and despite the name, you can't really see the shimmer after it's been applied.

What are some of your favourite tinted lip products?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Time Saving Tip: Using Cream Eyeshadows

cream eyeshadows

cream eyeshadows

With the winter season comes dark mornings, which makes it harder to wake up and get out of bed. To get some more sleep, I like to simplify the makeup I use. One of my favourite ways to get those extra minutes of sleep is to use cream eyeshadows.

Cream eyeshadows can be used as a base for other eyeshadows, or by itself. In the winter, I'm much too tired in the mornings to think about applying multiple shadows, then search for the brushes to blend out the harsh edges. With cream eyeshadows, I use my ring finger to apply on my lids, then blend out the edges with my middle finger. It looks like you put some effort into your eyeshadow, when you really didn't. Easy and it only takes a few seconds!

cream eyeshadow swatches
L-R: Rosewood, Coffee Buzz, Tough as Taupe

I only own three cream eyeshadows, but that's more than enough for me! Since they take a while to get through. The three shades that I have are great neutrals that will work with most skintones. Origins Ginzing Brightening Cream Eye Shadow in Coffee Buzz is the one I use the most. The formula is very creamy, easy to work with and blend extremely well. It looks quite warm in the pot, but it's more of a bronzey taupey shade with subtle silver shimmers.

My next favourite is the Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadow in Rosewood. This is a cream to powder eyeshadow, but it feels much like a velvety extremely pressed powder eyeshadow. It is a beautiful red-toned brown that lasts a long time on the lids.

Lastly, I have the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. This shade is more of an opaque purple grey, than a taupe. Out of the three cream eyeshadows, this is the driest formula and can be a little tricky to work with. Once it's been warmed up by the fingers, it's easier to apply and blend out. I haven't worn this shadow for 24 hours, but it does last quite a long time on my lids.

What are your thoughts on cream eyeshadows?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water

la roche-posay thermal spring water spray

I'm a huge fan of La Roche-Posay products. Both the Effaclar Duo and Pigmentclar Serum are awesome products and have worked quite well on my skin. So, I thought, why not try out their version of water mist - the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. Having loved the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, I wanted to find out how good this spray would be, at a fraction of the price.

This water is targeted for people with sensitive skin and those who have skin that's irritated by external factors. La Roche-Posay claims that the inclusion of Selenium and other minerals help with soothing and softening the skin due to its antioxidant properties.

Thermal Spring Water can be used to tone and prepare the skin for treatments, as an anti-inflammatory following procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion, or to refresh the skin. This is also recommended for people who suffer from rosacea or eczema. To use the spray, it's suggested to hold the can 8-12 inches away from the face, then leave it on for 2-3 minutes. You can wait until the water dries or pat off the excess.

So what do I think of this?

I use this as part of my evening skincare routine after I've cleansed my face. I spray a pretty liberal amount and I quite like the cooling and refreshing feeling of the water. I wait the 2-3 minutes for the water to dry. If there's excess, I try to pat the water away with my hands. One of the great things about this facial mist is that you can hold down the nozzle and have a continuous spray, instead of pressing down on the nozzle multiple times.

My skin feels plumper and smoother after all the water has dried off. Even though my face feels calmer and refreshed, I don't find it helps with the bit of redness I have in my cheeks.

After using this spray for the past couple of months, I can say I really like the results I get from this spray. Even though it is a can of water, somehow the combination of selenium and other minerals in the water has helped with keeping my skin hydrated, smooth and refreshed.

I would recommend this product if you're looking for a facial mist for that extra boost in hydration, however, I still love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, since I want a facial mist that does more than just hydrate.

If you're interested in this product, you can find it at Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall Pharma Plus.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Recent Buys

beauty products

beauty products

I know, I know. It's 1.5 months into the year and I've already bought more makeup? My excuse is most of these items are products I've been wanting to try for quite a while, plus Shoppers Drug Mart was having a 20x the points event. And let's just say I have a weakness for blush.

After reading about all the hype surrounding the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, I knew I had to try it out for my flat, lifeless hair. I opted for the small can in case I didn't end up liking it. But with all the amazing reviews, I doubt I'll dislike it.

During one of the more recent 20x the points events at Shoppers Drug Mart, I walked away with a few items that have been on my to-try list for quite a while. First is the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara. I got the waterproof formula since it'll help with holding the curl longer. I'm excited to try this mascara and have high hopes for it. The Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm is another product that went straight into my basket. I've finished up a couple of lip balms and thought it was time to finally try it out. Then there's Origins A Perfect World for Eyes. I'm starting to get lines and wrinkles in my undereye area, so here's hoping it helps with making them disappear.

Then there are the items from this year's spring makeup releases. From the first pictures I saw of Chanel Jardin de Chanel Blush Camelia Rose, I had to have it. It's my first Chanel blush and the design and colour shade are beautiful. Then there's Clarins Sweet Rose Blush Prodige. I bought it a couple of days ago after humming and hawing about it for quite a while! Am I glad I got it! It's such a pretty pink shade. I also bought the Dior Nail Vernis in Lady. Dior makes such beautiful nude shades and I knew I'd be reaching for this often. Lastly, there's the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Rosewood, which isn't pictured because it's sitting in my purse. It's a wonderful everyday shade that goes with everything.

Let me know if you'd like to see reviews for any of these products!

What are some of your recent buys?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Winter Skincare Edit - Evening

skincare products

Earlier this week, I wrote about the skincare products I use in the winter for my morning routine, which you can find here. Today is the second half of the whole routine - the evening products.

The main theme during the winter season is hydration and layering products. And my evening skincare routine is no exception. After taking off my makeup and cleansing my face, I like to spray my face with the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to get some extra moisture into the skin. After it sinks in, I apply the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum as the first layer of goodness for my skin. This serum helps with brightening the skin and rid the skin of dullness that you typically get in the winter.

My moisturiser of choice in the winter has been the Clarins Bright Plus HP Brightening Repairing Night Cream. This is probably one of the thickest creams I've used, but it truly works and I wake up with plump skin the next day. And you can never get enough brightening action! If I find that I have some dry patches, especially around my nose, I use a little bit of Clinique Moisture Intense. A little goes a long way, so I've barely used the sample sized pot that I have!

For the eyes, I've switched over to the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. I find this is a good basic eye cream that truly hydrates the undereye area. I have yet to wake up to any dry eyes! Once I use up my sample, I'll be sure to purchase the full size.

What are some of your winter skincare favourites?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winter Skincare Edit - Morning

skincare products

Now that we're in the middle of what winter really is (-30 degree weather with snow blowing in your face), a change in my skincare routine is needed. I'm all about layering products that will bring hydration to my skin. Today's post will focus on the products I'm currently using in my morning routine.

A change in eye creams is needed, to help with keeping the delicate undereye area hydrated. I'm currently using the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue, which gives just the right amount of hydration, while helping with brightening and de-puffing my tired eyes. And we all know that mornings during the winter are harder to wake up in.

When it comes to the rest of the face, a serum is essential. I layer a serum underneath my moisturiser. Since last winter, I have been using the Vichy Idealia Life Serum. This is a thick but lightweight serum that sinks into the skin very quickly. It gives the skin such a beautiful glow and luminosity from the golden and red pearls. If you wanted to, you could even use it as a primer as the skin is instantly smoothed. It also has a wonderful floral scent that isn't strong.

To finish off my morning routine, I use the Biore Nourish Moisture Lotion with SPF15. This is a good basic moisturiser that contains SPF, which helps to protect my skin. I like using this lotion as it's a bit thicker than other moisturisers I use during the rest of the year, so it gives that extra bit of hydration.

What are some of the changes you make to your morning skincare routine in the winter?

Monday, February 09, 2015

Finding the Ultimate Brow Product: Benefit Gimme Brow - Medium/Deep

benefit gimme brow medium/deep

benefit gimme brow medium/deep

This is the third instalment in my series of finding the ultimate brow product. Today's feature is Benefit's Gimme Brow. You can read the first two posts here and here. This is a tinted brow gel with fibres that claims to easily builds thick lush brows with precision from the small brush. It also claims to be water resistant and long lasting. This only comes in two shades - Light/Medium and Medium/Deep.

I mostly wanted to try this product out because of how popular it is. I have to admit, the first few times I used this, I didn't like it at all. The formula was wetter than I thought it would be which made it hard to evenly distribute the product on my brows. I would end up with a blob of the gel on one part of my brows and I'd have to try to blend it out as quickly as I could and sometimes even scratch at my brows to get the excess off.

I eventually learned that the best way to use this was to scrape off the excess before using it. Even then, I still sometimes get blobs on the front of my brows, where I start applying the gel. I find that even though it claims to give precision with the small tapered brush, I do have difficulty in filling in some of the smaller gaps. That's where I think a pencil trumps this product. As for the colour of the product, it's a pretty good match for me. I like that there are some grey tones in the gel, so it doesn't make the colour too brown for my brow hairs.

benefit gimme brow medium/deep swatch

You can see in the comparison picture below just how wet the gel can be and the issue of accidentally applying an excess amount in one place. You can see that the tint in the gel has helped with filling in the sparser areas, but you can still see some gaps in the tail end.

brow comparison

For me, after getting the hang of using this product, it's great to use when you're in a rush. It does help with filling in the sparser areas and can help with defining the shape of the brow. But, I do have to note that Gimme Brow is best suited for those who have fuller brows, or else the gel will have nothing to cling onto. On me, I do find that it lasts for most of the day, at least until the end of the work day. Once it sets, my brows don't feel crispy or stiff, which I appreciate.

At the end of the day, I do like this product, especially on work days when I don't have much time to do my makeup. Is it my ultimate brow product? No, but I will continue to use this until it's finished.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Use Up All The Samples!

box of sample beauty products

sample beauty products

A major theme for me this year is to be content with the makeup and skincare items that I have, while also simplifying or decluttering a lot of my makeup collection. One of the messes in my collection is my box of samples. Over the past few years, I've accumulated a lot of samples and mostly stashed them away in a box and other random places.

This year, I really wanted to tackle my box of samples and try to slim it down, and maybe find some new products that I really like. Starting this month, I'm challenging myself to use up as many samples as I can and will report back on my progress at the end of month. My goal is to use up half the samples by the middle of the year. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

2015 Spring Makeup Releases - The Purchases

beauty products on notebook

beauty products on notebook

After seeing some of the promotional ads and pictures for the 2015 spring makeup releases, the only item I really wanted to pick up was the new permanent blush shade from Chanel - #190 Angelique. Then, more promos were released and I quickly fell in love with a lot of the colours and products that were being released.

In the end, I think I did pretty well and restrained myself from picking up too many things. I ended up getting the Chanel Jardin de Chanel Blush Camelia Rose, Dior nail polish in Lady, and Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Rosewood. I'm extremely excited to use these three products and know that I'll get a lot of use out of them - a recurring theme in my mindset of makeup this year.

What did you pick up from this year's spring collections?

Monday, February 02, 2015

Winter Nail Polish Picks

nail polishes

nail polishes

nail polishes

Nail polish is one of my favourite ways of giving colour to my otherwise monochrome outfits during the winter. Now that we're actually in the middle of winter here in Toronto, I'm torn between wearing darker shades and lighter neutral shades to match the monochrome nature of my wardrobe, with a little red in the mix.

Dior Incognito
One of my holy grail nail colours. It's a nude pink creme that doesn't wash out the colour of your hands. It has enough pink to make your nails look neatly kept while giving a healthy colour. This is a colour that will go with anything you wear.

Nails Inc. Porchester Square
Another beautiful neutral in the bunch. This is a light grey taupe with hints of purple and is another colour that I wear all the time. Because of the hints of purple, it helps to stop in making your nails look corpse-like. The formula is a little thick, but it's opaque in one coat.

Dior Palais Royal
I got this polish back in October when I was looking for the perfect grey. This is the perfect colour to wear in the winter and transition into spring, or from fall into winter. In certain lights, it truly looks grey, but in other lights, it can look a bit brown or purple. This is a colour that also goes with anything you wear.

Dior Junon
Another Dior polish that I've really liked in the past few months. I would almost consider this a neutral colour for me! I know it looks blue, but the grey base really anchors it to seem like a neutral. It's definitely a unique colour along with its discreet shimmer.

Essie Angora Cardi
What's a nail polish post without a little colour? Angora Cardi is a dusty rose colour that truly reminds me of thick, warm cardigans. When I want to switch up my nail colours, but not go for something too drastic, I put this one on.

Essie Twin Sweater Set
Twin Sweater Set is a true bright red. It's one of my favourite red polishes that I own and wear quite often during the cold months. This colour also reminds me of snuggly and cosy cable knit sweaters. This is a great polish to add a pop of colour to your outfit.

Essie Shearling Darling
This is a dark red creme that almost looks burgundy once it's on your nails. Burgundy is probably more associated with fall, but I think this colour is appropriate for any cold month! It's another shade that I commonly associate with warm sweaters.

Essie After School Boy Blazer
Of course I needed to include a super dark colour to round out my winter picks. This colour is a beautiful dark blue creme that almost looks black. I find this one can be a little hard to apply, so be patient!

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