Monday, July 29, 2013

IPSY Glam Bag - July 2013

Another month, another IPSY Glam Bag! I'm still loving these. This month, the theme was Beach Bag Beauty, with summary products in a cute little plastic cosmetics bag. The products included are as follows:
  • Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub - this is a really good size pot of scrub that I'm looking forward to trying. My shower is currently a bit cluttered with scrubs I'm trying to finish, so hopefully I'll get to this one soon!
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample - this mini-palette includes three colours that are from three separate larger palettes offered by the brand. I'd never tried BH Cosmetics before, but have heard of the brand. I tried the colours San Francisco (bronzey-brown) and Malibu (gold) and was impressed. They went on smoothly with good pigmentation. 

  • Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray - I haven't tried this yet - I'm saving it for when I go away to a more humid climate, which is hopefully soon! Where I live it is very dry, so I don't have a need in my everyday life.
  • Coola Mineral Face SPF 20 - I haven't tried this yet either, but I'm excited about it. I've been looking for a face sunscreen that won't make my makeup slide off, so fingers crossed for this one!
  • Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon - I got this in the shade Coral Crush, and it looks beautiful, except I don't love it on my lips at all. It looks kind of waxy and dull on the lips and it wore off in the middle, leaving a line of product around the edge of my lips. I don't like this product unfortunately.

All in all, I'm pleased again with the contents of my IPSY Glam Bag. I look forward to this package every month.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Concealer Roundup!

My collection of concealers has grown and can only be described as ridiculous. I don't know why anyone would need this many - I certainly do not need them all. But I love trying new ones, and of course, some are for under the eye, some are for the face, and some are for both. Everything has it's purpose! Sort of. Anyways, I thought I would gather my collection to give my thoughts on each.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain - for me, this is one of those forgotten products. You know the ones you are excited to purchase and try, but then for some reason, it gets lost in the drawer and totally overlooked? This is a really nice under-eye concealer though - I don't use it anywhere else on my face. Inside the compact is the concealer, as well as a coordinating pressed setting powder. I think there are a couple of reasons why I don't reach for this very often - one is because I don't have extremely dark circles under my eyes, and two is because if possible, I would rather use one concealer that does it all, instead of using separate products for each concern. I have some concealers that are a bit more versatile, and as a result, I use them more.

Youngblood Ultimate Concealer in Fair - I love this concealer! I haven't tried many Youngblood products, but the ones I have, I really like. I even featured this concealer as a monthly favourite this year. I like the consistency because it is creamy, but not too thick or thin. Kind of in the middle. If you just touch your finger or brush in the pot, you pick up a nice amount and it seems to melt into the skin very nicely and stay in place. I use it anywhere on the face. This is a very handy product to have around.

theBalm timeBalm Conceealer in Lighter than Light - I also have this concealer in light, but it was too dark for me. This concealer supposedly has anti-aging properties in it, so it is a bit of a treatment product. I like it - it is quite think so it benefits from being applied with your finger to warm it up a bit, but it is a very good multi-purpose concealer. However, for me, I prefer something a bit lighter under my eye. This could possibly crease in the fine under-eye lines if not set properly. I often keep this in my purse for a mid-day touch-up around my nose.

Hourglass Hidden Concealer in Fair - so far I have loved every Hourglass product that I have tried - and this concealer is no exception. It is another multi-purpose concealer for me. It is in a stick form, but I usually put a bit on my finger and then blend it into the spot I'm trying to conceal. I'm almost finished with this one, perhaps I should have completed it before buying any new ones! The swatch in the photo below shows the shade a bit darker than it actually is in real life, not really sure why. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in Warm Light - this is my current go-to concealer that I have been wearing on a daily basis. It is a bit more yellow than some of the above products, but it is summer, I'm a bit more tan and this matches me perfectly right now. This concealer is really long wearing and goes on so seamlessly. I would highly recommend it. I use the doe-foot applicator to dab on the area and then blend with my fingers.

Cover Girl Simply Ageless Concealer in Very Light - this was also featured in a monthly favourites post. I purchased this at the same time as the Cover Girl 3-in-1 foundation, and the two products go perfectly together, in my opinion. It is very moisturizing as it has the Olay cream swirled throughout. I think this is a great winter under-eye concealer, so I will use more of it once the weather starts getting cooler and dryer. 

l to r: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain, Youngblood Ultimate Concealer in Fair, timeBalm Concealer in Lighter than Light, Hourglass Hidden Concealer in Fair, Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in Warm Light, Cover Girl Simply Ageless Concealer in Very Light
L'oreal True Match Concealer Crayon in W1-2-3 Fair Light - before I purchased the Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, I was using this one on a daily basis. I wanted to purchase the shade N1-2-3 (neutral undertones), but it was always sold out when I went to look for it, so I gave the warmer toned version a try, and much like my Estee Lauder Concealer in Warm Light, this works great for the summer months when I have a bit more colour. I'm also just really impressed by this concealer in general. I don't love many drugstore concealers, but this one is worth trying out for sure. It gives great coverage and is easy to blend. 

Shu Uemura Cover Crayon - this is a double-ended product. One side is Fair, and the other is Medium. I don't actually use the medium side at all, but I have been meaning to try it for contouring. I bought this to use the light end in my waterline. I love it for this purpose. It lasts all day and I don't notice any eye irritation, like I do with some flesh toned eyeliners. 

Clinique Acne Solutions Concealer in Shade 01 - I mentioned this in my makeup empties post last week - I've purchased it several times. As I mentioned it that post, I really like it, it gives good coverage and blends nicely, but I'm not convinced of its actual blemish fighting abilities. 

Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer in Light - this is an extremely heavy duty cream concealer. It could probably cover just about anything, but at the same time, it is easy to overdo things with this. Honestly, I haven't used it a lot. I feel like it has a lot of the same benefits as the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye, that it has gotten overlooked in my collection.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Light and Natural Medium - I have two shades in this thanks to an online order mix-up, but of course light is the shade that works for me. This is a super concentrated heavy duty concealer, much like the Laura Geller Concealer. If you have hard to cover under eye circles, this is worth trying. It is basically crease-free, and lasts all day. It is also suitable to be used allover as a foundation-type product for extremely problematic skin, however I find it too much for my skin. I keep this primarily as an under eye product. 

l to r: L'oreal True Match W 1-2-3 Fair Light, Shu Uemura Fair end, Shu Uemura Medium end, Clinique Acne Solutions Shade 01, Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer in Light, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Light, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Natural Medium

Wow, that was a lot. If you read all of this, I'm extremely impressed!

In case you did not, here is a quick summary:

Best for under-eye: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer and Cover Girl Simply Ageless (tie, although prefer Cover Girl in the winter)

Best for on-the-go touch-ups: Youngblood Ultimate Concealer

Best heavy-duty: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under-eye

Best multi-purpose: Estee Lauder Double Wear and L'oreal True Match (tie)

Favourite all around: Estee Lauder Double Wear

What are your favourite concealers?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Empties - Skincare

This is the last of my empties posts for now - skincare. I had the most empty bottles in this category, but for the most part, I got rid of duplicates. I've tried so many different brands over the years, but I'm starting to realize that my skin responds the best to the more natural products. I tried Juice beauty when a sales person at Murale recommended it to me and just loved it. But since I am never content, I thought I would try the Micheal Todd line after hearing so many good things about it all over the internet. And I really am enjoying the products. I've repurchased several times now. 

Simple facial cleanser - this was a sample of a gel-like cleanser. I found it very good for removing makeup and I like it a lot. Would consider repurchasing to use for removing makeup prior to treatment cleansers.

Bioderma Sebium H2O Micelle Solution - this is an amazing cleansing water. It is so handy to have for lazy nights as you can just swipe a couple of moistened cotton pads over your face and all makeup is removed. I already have a backup.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - this is a really lovely facial spray. Has a great spa-like feel and I enjoyed using it, however I might try L'occitane next as I believe it doesn't contain alcohol as Caudalie's does.

Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser - this was received in a Glossybox. I used it up, but I didn't love it. Actually, I think I have another in the drawer that I received free as well. Won't be repurchasing.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum - this is a really nice product. It is for both anti-aging, as well as blemished / oily skin. I really enjoy using this and have purchased it several times (this was in both the tube, and the glass bottle with the dropper in the picture above).

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser - I also really liked using this cleanser from Juice Beauty. This was the first time I used facial products with organic ingredients and my skin reacted very nicely with it. 

Michael Todd Kaolin Clay Mask - this is an amazing mask. I use it every week, sometimes twice a week. My skin feels amazing and so clean after using it. I believe the Kaolin Clay is very good for removing excess oil from the skin, I don't know the exact science, but I've seen Kaolin Clay as an ingredient in a lot of products that I enjoy using, so I think it works very well for oily skin types.

Michael Todd Charcol Detox Cleanser - this is my current cleanser, and I have a backup as well. I love it. My skin feels so clean after using it. I'll continue to repurchase this I'm sure.

Michael Todd Antiox Serum - I'm trying to incorporate more anti-aging products into my routine, so I picked this one up. It contains DMAE and Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is quite a nice serum that also provides moisture to the skin. I don't usually use a separate moisturizer, so I find this serum very nice. These days, I'm alternating this with the Antioxidant Carrot Serum.

Philosophy shower gel in Eggnog - this has been a favourite of mine for several years. Every holiday season I try to pick up a couple to last me for the year. I love the scent. It so delicious - exactly like eggnog. The pumpkin pie version is also great.

Tan Towel On the Glow Self Tanning Moisturizer - I use this in the summer as my body lotion. It gives a nice subtle tan that builds after a few applications. I think I purchased this from Hautelook and if I saw them again on there, I would pick up a few more tubes. Otherwise, I'm not really sure where it can be found. Several years ago, Shoppers Drug Mart sold Tan Towel, but I haven't seen it there in ages.

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel - this lasted me forever! At 480 ml, it is a huge bottle. I like it, but I did start to get a bit bored of the scent. I need variety!

Vitabath Blood Orange Shower Gel - this was another product from a Glossybox. It was very nice, with a strong citrus scent. I have seen this brand sold at Shoppers Drug Mart, so sometime down the line, I may pick one of these up again.

Ok, so that was a lot of empties, but I'm done!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

IT Cosmetics Your Most Beautiful Collection

Just a quick post because some of you might be interested in checking out the special being offered on QVC this weekend (July 13th). Unfortunately QVC stopped shipping to Canada this year, but I've been a loyal customer of IT Cosmetics on The Shopping Channel in Canada. Anyways, if you are in the US, the kit is available July 13th at QVC.

The kit includes the following items:

  • supersize of Bye Bye Under Eye concealer
  • Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Foundation/Concealer Brush
  • Hello Light Anti-Aging Creme Luminizer
  • Heavenly Luxe Pointed Precision Complexion Brush
  • YBBB Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil
  • Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Gloss Stain 

I love these products and have talked about a variety of items from this brand. I especially love their brushes. The quality is amazing and they feel so luxurious on the skin. On their own, each brush usually retails in the range of $40 - $50, so I've always purchased mine as part of a kit like this one.

The Bye Bye Under Eye concealer is a really heavy-duty type product. If you need to cover dark circles, this will really do the trick! My under-eye area isn't too bad, so a tiny amount is all I need. This supersize tube will likely last a lifetime!

The one product that I have not yet tried is the Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Gloss Stain. I'm so excited about this! Their lipstick stains are amazing, so to combine this with a gloss is definitely up my alley!

Let me know if you have tried any of these products and what you think about them!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Empties - Makeup

 So we all know that makeup products are the hardest ones to use up. I have a few samples mixed in here, so that helps, but I am trying to use up the products in my collection that are nearing their end (to make room for new purchases, of course!).

Here are the items that I have used up recently.

Primers and Oil Control

I use a primer pretty much everyday. Normally I look for ones that are either colour-correcting, or have oil control properties, or both. This was probably my second or third bottle of the Pur Minerals Color Correcting Primer in Green. I really like this one - it has that smooth texture, and the green counteracts redness, so it allows me to apply less foundation. This now comes in new packaging which is a tube rather than a pump bottle, which would be much easier to use as the pump can sometimes stop working, which is annoying, but not the end of the world for me. 

I also finished a tube of the Cover FX Clear Prep FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment. I don't know if it helps reduce acne, but as long as a product won't cause it, I'm happy. As for oil control, well, I get extremely oily and I don't find that this prevents it 100%. But then again, I haven't found many products that actually do. Overall it is a nice primer, but I'm currently using the Murad matte primer, and I think I like it better. 

I used up a bottle of Urban Decay De Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray. I usually spray this after applying my foundation and setting powder and I do find that it helps. The Urban Decay version is by the brand Skindinavia, and around Christmas there was a sale on the Skindinavia website and I picked up about three bottles, so while I didn't repurchase the Urban Decay product, this is something that I use on almost an everyday basis!

Eye Makeup Removers

I love the Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. I have never actually purchased a bottle however. That is because I receive free samples of it so often that I have never had to. But I really recommend this for getting off stubborn eye makeup.

Same story for Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover. I always receive this free, but it also does the trick for me.

Face Products

Benefit Boxed Blush in Sugarbomb is gorgeous - it is a swirl of four soft colours - peach, deep pink, light pink, and lavender, and together, it is such a pretty colour. I will definitely repurchase this at some point down the line. 

I finished using Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer in Fair. I really like it, and if I didn't have so many other concealers on the go right now, I would pick up another one!

This next product is a funny one for me - Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer - I have repurchased this countless times as I want a concealer to cover blemishes that will heal and prevent new ones, but I'm not actually sure this does anything but cover. I just haven't found anything better, so I continue to purchase. 

Mascara and Lips

I tried It Cosmetics Hello Lashes for the first time and this mascara is fantastic! It made my lashes look really long and pretty, and I love the wand. It is one of the kind that has sort of a ball on the tip so that the bristles go in all direction. This helps with pushing the lashes up so that your lashes have a bit of lift, even if you do not use a curler. I will probably try to get my hands on another tube of this when I'm finished using up all of my samples.

I also used up two of my large stash of samples - Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes, and Tarina Tarantino. Both worked great. But again, I have a stash of samples I'm trying to work through before repurchasing any mascara.

I received this Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick in Amsterdam as part of a Sephora free gift. I really like it, in fact, I purchased a full size version already. Amsterdam is a rosy nude colour and it tingles on the lips, which I actually enjoy. I believe it has plumping properties, but I just like the colour and find the formula quite long-wearing. 

So that is all for my makeup empties. I'm working my way through lots of products, so hopefully I'll more to post about soon.

Up next: skincare empties!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Empties - Haircare Products

I've been accumulating empty bottles as I finish each product with the intentions of posting about them, so here we go. I'm going to separate it into manageable categories since I've been collecting since the beginning of the year.

Haircare - not something I get super excited about. I don't have a certain go-to brand. I sort of buy what is convenient and use samples as I receive them. At one point I even tried going shampoo-free in attempts to decrease my reliance on the bad ingredients that shampoos often include (while others swear by going shampoo-free, it did not work for me). Currently, I have switched to some natural hair products, but for now, here is what I have emptied in the past few months:

L'oreal Elnett - this is a well-known hairspray and I love it. It is a bit pricey for a drugstore hairspray (usually $12.99 - $14.99) so I go back and forth between this and Tressemme. Both work well for me.

Sebastian Volupt Shampoo - this was a full-sized sample in one of my Glossyboxes. I hate when they send a shampoo, but no conditioner. But anyways, this product was fine. Nothing spectacular so I won't be searching out somewhere to pick up another bottle.

Mario Badescu Shampoo and Conditioner - there are a couple of products that I really enjoy using from Mario Badescu and this shampoo/conditioner duo was included as a free gift in an order I submitted a while back. I used it up, but probably won't repurchase.

L'oreal EverCreme Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-in spray - I really enjoyed all three of these products. They are sulfate and paraben-free, which is why I purchased them in the first place. The cream formula felt moisturizing and the leave-in spray made my hair very soft. The products do contain SLS however, which is why I am currently using something from my local healthfood store. I do like these products though.

theBalm En Root Dry Shampoo - I had high hopes for this - I used it once and it worked well. The second time I went to use it, the sprayer stopped working. So, it is an empty, not because it is empty, but because of faulty packaging. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo - I've gone through several cans of this stuff that somehow got thrown out before I could get a picture. I like this stuff - pretty cheap and works well. It is not always easy to find in Canada, however. Last time I was in the London airport I grabbed three cans at the Boots.

Dove Dry Shampoo - very similar to the Batiste, but Dove is readily available so I purchase this often.

Moroccanoil Hairspray - this was also from a Glossybox. I really like the smell and feel of this hairspray, but I didn't really find it gave a ton of hold. I did not repurchase this.

So that is all for my hair product empties. Of the bunch, I would say the Dove Dry Shampoo is my favourite, along with the L'oreal EverCreme collection. Batiste and L'oreal Elnett are close runner-ups, and everything else will not likely make an appearance in my bathroom anytime soon!

Up next: makeup empties!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Favourites - June 2013

I hesitated in preparing a post for June favourites, because I really haven't been using anything new and exciting. I have basically been reaching for the same tried and true products that I've been using for awhile now. Perhaps I'm in a bit of a rut? I will try to get out of this for July, but for now, this is just a quick recap of my go-to products for June. 

The main reason why I wanted to post this was that there was one standout product that I picked up in May, but didn't really start using regularly until June. It is the Miracle Skin Transformer Acne Control Tinted Skin Enhancer. This comes in light, medium, tan, dark, and clear. Of course I chose the light shade. I've been using it as a tinted moisturizer and then touching up with concealer as needed.

There are two reasons I really wanted to try this product, and as it delivers on both, they are also the reasons I like it: 1) provides a nice, light coverage for summer, and 2) doesn't cause me to worry that my foundation is causing future breakouts down the line. 

Lately I just haven't wanted to fuss with a full coverage foundation, so this has been a perfect solution. I'm not sure I would go so far as to say this product is a miracle, but I do enjoy using it and I will definitely be repurchasing. 

The concealer that I have been using most often lately is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, as I talked about in my Weekend Away post. I have the shade Warm Light and it works perfectly for me. 

Also mentioned in my Weekend Away post are my current favourite lip and cheek products - Tarte LipSurgence in Achiote and Bobbi Brown blush in Nectar. 

Here are the swatches for all of these products:

l to r: Miracle Skin Transformer in Light, Estee Lauder Double
Wear Conceler in Warm Light, Bobbi Brown blush in Nectar,
Tarte LipSurgence in Achiote

Since it is the summer, and the Miracle Skin Transformer doesn't offer a ton of oil control properties, I have been relying on my Boscia oil-blotting sheets. I really like the Boscia variety, but it may be largely due to the cute little plastic holder you can get to hold them in...

Last but not least, I wanted to include my favourite nail polishes. Again, you have seen me post about these before (here and here), but I'm really loving them, and they are my favourites!

left: Essie's DJ Play That Song
right: Essie's Bottle Service

So again, sorry for being repetitive, but you can't help your favourites, right?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Long Weekend Away Picks

So in Canada, last weekend was our Canada long weekend, and I took the opportunity to get away, even if it was just for three days. Travelling light, especially when I'm just gone for a few days is always something I strive for. I hate to lug around a ton of products, not to mention, I hate spending a ton of time in the morning when I could be out walking by the water or sipping coffee on a patio! So I thought I would show you my very minimal long weekend look that allowed me to fit everything in my travel bag and still have room for my non-makeup essentials! 

Here is what I packed:

Face products

I've been trying a new foundation for summer - it is the Vichy Normaderm Teint Anti-Imperfection Foundation. This is a very light foundation that is meant to mattify and even out combination to oily skin. I like it so far, but I've only been using it for a short time, so a review may be coming soon.

Since the Vichy foundation is quite light, I used the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer. This provides very nice, long-lasting coverage and can be built up to cover just about anything. I use it on my face, as well as under my eyes, so it saves on having to carry two separate concealers. 

To set my face makeup, I brought along my Lancome Dual Finish Pressed Powder. It provides a smooth matte finish, and it is nice for touch-ups as well.

Cheek products

For bronzer, everytime I travel, I bring along my Tarte Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer in Park Ave Princess. It is a perfect, natural bronzer to add colour allover, as well as for contouring. 

I've mentioned my Bobbi Brown blush in Nectar before. I think it is turning out to be an all-time favourite - it is a pinky coral that is so beautiful. I reach for it so often that it made sense to bring it along as my only blush colour.


I went for a really simple eye look. I used L'oreal's Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush allover the lid and then blended it up into the crease. That's all I used. This eyeshadow is such a gorgeous shimmery shade and it comes off with a lot of dimension depending on the application. 

For eyeliner, I used a combination of two NYX Slide On Pencils - I used Golden Bronze on my top lashline and Azure on the lower waterline. It is such a pretty and summery combination, plus if you haven't tried these liners yet, they are amazing. So creamy and extremely pigmented. I know I've mentioned these before as well, but they are must haves.

I grabbed one of my many mascara samples to take with me. Clinique's High Impact mascara is one of my all-time favourites as well. It makes my lashes look amazing. I received this one as part of a bonus, and it is actually a double ended product, with their bottom lash mascara on the opposite end. I love two-in-one products!


I love Tarte's LipSurgence Lip Luster sticks, and the colour Achiote is my favourite. It is a gorgeous shimmery pinky coral with gold in it. I love how pigmented it is and how comfortable it feels on the lips. It is quick and easy to apply and great to keep in your purse for easy touch-ups. It goes especially well with the Bobbi Brown Nectar blush!

So that is all I used for the long weekend! Of course I had a few brushes with me, but overall, I was pleased with how minimal I was able to keep everything.

Have a great weekend, whether it is long or normal!

Thanks for reading!