The Unlikely Nude Lip Duo

Nude lips are just so much easier – are we all agreed? It’s well-documented on this blog how much difficulty (re: laziness) I have when it comes to using all my 230948230 lip products. That number’s just a slight exaggeration. So on most days, a swipe of lip balm or sheer lip gloss usually does me for the day. No worrying about feathering, fading or any of that jazz.

But on days that I am either going out, or just want to have a slightly more polished look, I’ve still been leaning toward nude, nude, nude. My latest discovery has been pairing the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien with the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 03 Nude Shimmer for a lovely neutral lip that works for pretty much all occasions and matches all outfits. I got the NARS pencil as part of the 2015 Sephora birthday gift and initially had no idea what to do with it, because on its own it isn’t really nude on me – it’s a tad too dark and too pink for me to comfortably wear it as a nude. However, now that it’s summer and I’ve gotten much more sun, I decided to fish this one out of its drawer and give it a go. If I pat it in for a sheer wash of colour it works great, but if I want to really get the full pow with the colour, it’s still a bit too dark, even with my much-tanner skin, so in comes the milkier, lighter Clarins gloss, which when it’s layered over top, neutralizes things a bit and gives me the perfect juicy nude for summer.

What nude lip combo have you been loving, and have you tried either/both of these products?


Clinique Love


Clinique is not a brand from which I have tried a ton of products. Sure, I’ve flirted with the brand throughout the years, mostly trying out acne treatments every once in a while, and I do love their cleansing balm. However, in the last couple of months, I’ve added a couple of real gems to my skincare routine. The more recent purchase, which is the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturizer, is a product I’ve been hearing about for a long time. Last month, a friend told me that she absolutely loved the stuff for her combo skin, and that I should try it, so I finally did, and it’s definitely a keeper. The texture is a gel cream that feels like it adheres to the skin well when patting it in, and it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or oily afterwards. I’ve been using this in the morning, sometimes mixed with a sunscreen for those extra sunny days.

The Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20 has been really good this entire summer for that extra protection in the delicate eye area. I bought this at the beginning of the summer and still have a ton to use. The one thing I will say is that this did make my undereyes a bit dry at one point in July, so I’ve started layering/mixing this with a moisturizing eye cream, so that I can still use it and get the benefits of the SPF.

What are your Clinique favourites, and what should I try next?

New Additions to My Brush Collection

Makeup brushes are something that I’ve been slowly and steadily collecting over the last few years, and while I think I’ve got most of the basics now, there were a few things that weren’t necessarily essentials, but just gaps I found in my current brush collection.

The Real Techniques Setting Brush is a really handy little tool to keep around for setting undereye concealer, or lightly blending anything in, as well as placing powder in specific places instead of all over my face. Lately I’ve really been into doing that, since I’ve been using the L’Oreal foundation, which doesn’t require an entire layer of powder to set, so it’s been great to use one less product on my face, although I still like to dust a bit of translucent powder where I get the most oily!

I’m not very big into doing my eyebrows, but I thought that it would be quite useful to have a double-ended brush with a spoolie on one end for both eyebrow grooming (on the odd occasion that I do it) as well as working clumps out of any poorly-applied mascara. I haven’t used the angled brush end as I do have a separate one I use for gel liner, but I figured having a second one wouldn’t hurt, especially when the bristles on my old one get all splayed and less precise. In comes the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12, which works a treat and I’m glad to have added to my collection. I’ve also been quite curious about brow pomades, so although I currently don’t have much of a brow routine, who knows, that might change, and I already have the tool to apply it…

The most recent buy I picked up from Shoppers Drug Mart, the Quo Fan Brush. I have been dying to buy a fan brush for applying highlighter with, since I have tons of highlighter but never use it, since I find that it’s very difficult to apply without looking overdone or like a disco ball. This is quite a large duofibre brush, but it’s been great for picking up just the tiniest amount of product and sweeping it lightly on the tops of the cheekbones. I’ll finally be able to start working my way through my lifetime supply of highlighter!

Do you have any of these brushes and what do you use them for? What brushes should I pick up next?

Bye-bye Dark Circles?


Dark circles have been a problem my whole life -they’re also not just circles but caves. There are literal depressions in my face under my eyes which certainly don’t help the appearance of my undereye area. I’m that person that regularly gets asked if I’m either sick or tired. So it’ll come as a bit of surprise that undereye concealer was never really my thing until the last couple of years – angry red acne or acne scars were always my number one concern for covering up. Being a bit of an undereye concealer n00b, then, left me a bit confused about what to do or use in that area. The regular concealer I was using didn’t work (it was a thick one in a pot – wrong texture entirely!), and when I switched to using the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers I found the texture of those lovely for blemishes but entirely too cakey for under my eyes. Eventually I discovered more watery concealers that worked, although it’s been a struggle to find something that doesn’t crease in the one line I have under my eyes.

In comes the Tarte CC Undereye Corrector, which I have in the shade Light-Medium, a peachy-pink corrector that feels like a cream/gel formula. I’ve been using this the last few weeks under my eyes before my concealer (which are either the Maybelline Fit Me or Urban Decay Naked) and I found that it does help to really correct everything. It’s not perfect, but my undereye circles and the hollows under my eyes are practically impossible to cover up without loading tons and tons of product on, which isn’t practical for everyday. So for now, a light layer of this applied with my ring finger, and then a swipe of concealer does me for the whole day – and I have been setting it with a translucent powder, which does help it to not crease.

This corrector did come highly recommended from a friend, and the internet, so I’m really pleased with this one, as I’ve been meaning to pick up some kind of corrector at some point. I was told the Bobbi Brown one creases, so not to bother. While I’d really like to try that someday, the Tarte one is working out pretty well for everyday use.

So – miracle product? Not quite, but if you have only moderate dark circles, this would work a treat.

Have you tried this product, and what did you think? What is your favourite corrector?

Out With the Old… and In With the New

Excuse this somewhat grubby looking bottle (oops – this is real life)… but after about a year and a half, I have finally reached the end of my CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation. This has been my everyday go-to foundation for workdays and since I’ve actually gone through an entire bottle, I feel like I can give a more in-depth review of the stuff. Bottom line, it’s a solid foundation that ticks off most boxes for someone with my skin type. Although it doesn’t control oil as well as I would like it to, it’s not as heavy or as thick in texture as some foundations formulated for oily skin. It also does feel like you’re wearing foundation on your skin, but it’s nothing crazy. This foundation is a medium coverage, but on most days I tend to wear a very little bit of the stuff (probably why it takes me so long to finish a bottle), sheered out as much as possible. I prefer concealer to handle the rest.

The bottle above is Warm Beige, but the bit left behind is actually a mix of that and the Nude Beige shade. Matching drugstore foundations can be so tricky, so I ended up having to get two bottles. I still have a half-full bottle of Nude Beige lying around, though if I ever buy this foundation again I’ll probably aim to find the shade in between (if it exists). The shade also saw me through pretty much the entire year, although now that we’ve been blessed with daily sunshine and 30+ degree weather, it was starting to get a bit light for me. The thing I also love about this foundation is the colourmatch – CoverGirl seems to have found a good mix of yellow and pink undertones that suit my skin quite well, so it never required too much blending. The colour also didn’t oxidize on me too much, unlike some higher end foundations I’ve tried.

All in all, I think this is a solid foundation and if you had moderately oily skin, this would be amazing for everyday.

I didn’t replace it immediately – but for such a staple in my everyday routine, I do prefer to go the drugstore route if possible – high end foundations are just so expensive. I’ve been dying to try the new L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, which everyone and their mother has been raving about on the internet. It is marketed as a long-lasting demi-matte foundation for oily skin, which is exactly what I need. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and I have to say that the hype is REAL. It feels like nothing when applied and dries down to a sort of light powder finish. This is the very first liquid foundation I’ve never had to powder before, which is incredible. I also don’t feel oily whatsoever throughout the day, even though if I blot, the sheet definitely picks up a moderate amount of oil. It sticks around and doesn’t break up throughout the day.


My one gripe would be the shade – I picked up the shade 105 – Natural Beige, which sounds like it would be suitable for my medium-light neutral skin, but it’s incredibly yellow, so it does take a bit more blending. Maybe next time it goes on sale I’ll pick up a more pink-toned shade to mix them.

Have you tried either of these foundations? What is your favourite drugstore foundation?