The Blending and Cleansing Duo I’m Loving Right Now

There is absolutely nothing that blends makeup like a beautyblender. A small, unassuming pink sponge, it does wonders for makeup when slightly damp. I’m a fan of mattifying, creamier foundations that can sometimes look streaky or be difficult to blend in with a brush or fingers, so when a friend suggested picking up one of these bad boys, I had to try it. I’ve had a beauty blender in my life since a couple summers ago, and while sometimes I stray away due to sheer laziness (running a sponge under water for a few seconds?? Not during the morning rush!), I always end up coming back to it. Bopping it around the face blends foundation, concealer and any other cream products so beautifully it’s almost unreal. I’ve never really tried any other face sponge for applying face products, but despite that.. the hype is real, people. It’s totally worth it!

A little newer to my collection is the blendercleanser solid, which is a solid makeup brush/tool cleanser. Despite owning a beautyblender for a while now, I was never able to get it completely clean and back to its pink colour. I’ve tried liquid brush cleanser, soap, face wash, etc., but it always seemed to stain. Well, obviously it makes sense that one company would’ve made a tool and the thing to clean it with……. duh… The other huge plus is all my brushes tend to dry much quicker when I use this cleanser as opposed to face wash or liquid soap. I have been lucky enough to get free samples of the mini sizes of the cleanser, but when they run out I’m definitely going to be picking up a full size version of the stuff, and maybe try other solid brush cleansers that are at a better price point, if they exist.

Have you tried the beautyblender and/or cleanser? What is your favourite way to clean your brushes?


Fall/Winter Lips

Berry and plum lip colours are usually all the rage during the colder weather seasons, and it’s true, I have a real obsession with berries, but once in a while, it’s nice to switch it up, and as we get closer to holiday season, it’s always nice to have different options, especially a red, for those holiday parties.

The red I’ve chosen is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, which is a classic but slightly darker matte red that works with pretty much every skin tone and occasion. It’s also really long wearing and easy to apply since it’s in a pencil form – if I was braver about wearing reds on an everyday basis, this would definitely be one of my go-tos!

I had to throw in a classic berry just for the sake of it – my pick this time is a new one for me but a total cult favourite online – MAC‘s Rebel, which is a purplish pink that looks positively frightening in the tube, but can be worn quite sheer if desired. It also fades really nicely and stains the lips. It’s my first MAC lipstick and I really enjoy the formula…. a gateway to get more??

It’s also great to have a pink option. I’m not really big on light pinks, which clash horribly with my skin tone, but CoverGirl’s Spellbound Lipstick is a lovely deep fuchsia pink that sits somewhere between a matte and satin finish, so it’s not too drying on the lips but will stick around all night.

So there you have it, one red, berry and pink option for the holiday season. What are your favourite lip products around this time of year?

The Budget Pots of Lotion

In case you were hoping to get your paws on a nice body lotion set this holiday season, and didn’t feel like splashing out the obscene $72 on this one, I’ve got a nice alternative, that while not exactly a dupe, is much friendlier on the wallet, and a fantastic option for either gifting or keeping.

The Soap & Glory Three Times Butter set retails for $15 at Shoppers Drug Mart and contains three 50 ml travel size versions of three of Soap & Glory’s bestselling body creams. The first of the bunch is the reason why I picked up the set in the first place, the Smoothie Star Body Buttercream, which is described as having a ‘pistachio, almond and sweet vanilla’ fragrance. It’s richly scented of baked goods, and it annoys me to no end that here in Canada they don’t sell the individual products in the Smoothie Star range, which is supposed to be sweet and creamy. Sugar Crush is one of S&G’s most-loved scents. I am currently working on the full-sized shower cream and body butter, and it is an incredibly delicious sweet lime scent that’s not creamy at all but more candy-like without being sickly sweet. I’m pleased to have a travel size version of the body lotion now!

The last in the set is the Righteous Butter, which is I believe, one of their original products. Sad to say, I actually really dislike the original S&G scents – the fruity, more perfume-y ones are quite unappealing to me, so I might give this one away. However, if you’re into this scent or know someone who is, the lotion itself is quite lovely. What I really enjoy about the S&G body creams is that they are extremely moisturizing without having that thick, white texture that takes ages to work into the skin.

The Sephora VIB Sale Haul

It’s that time of year again… when the land of pretty things has it’s annual 20% off sale. I’d been making a mental list for months in preparation of this sale, which is especially handy if you have a couple big ticket items you’ve been meaning to pick up.

I have to say that this year I was really impressed with Sephora – this post is super delayed as I actually made my online order last Friday and the package showed up on Monday the 9th. Last year they were a bit delayed due to volume, but it seems that this time around they were much more prepared. I will say though, I made my order on November 6th around 9:30 am EST (the day the sale started for Rouge members) and a bunch of things were already sold out, so the next time a Sephora sale comes around, I would advise getting on that as early as possible to get the stuff you want!

But to the good stuff – the products. I haven’t tried any of them yet but as you can see the majority of my purchases were skincare items. The item at the top of my list was the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, of which I have heard loads about online and has become a bit of a cult product. In Canada, this serum retails for an eye-watering $116, so I was definitely keen on taking advantage of the sale. I haven’t tried it yet but I have high hopes. My next purchases were from Laneige, which is a brand I’ve spoken about before, but was never sold on Sephora until recently. I had to make a repurchase of my third jar of the Water Sleeping Mask, which is just the most divine gel-cream texture and leaves your skin super moisturized but not greasy overnight. Then, I thought it would be a good idea to try some of the other Laneige products, including the brightening line, since my hyperpigmentation issues are a constant plague. I decided to go with the Bright Renew Original Serum and the Bright Renew Emulsion, which in combination I hope will help battle my scarring. Laneige as a brand is quite reasonably priced – not cheap, but much more affordable than its sister brands, including AmorePacific. The one thing I will say is that if you’re interested in trying Laneige, be warned that its products tend to be quite heavily scented – not in a bad way, but some people’s skin don’t react well to that. In particular, the Power Essential Skin Toner is quite perfumey, which is why I decided not to repurchase and go with the Algenist Genius White Brightening Moisture Softener, which is a crazy long name for what is essentially a brightening toner. In case you didn’t notice a theme here, I’ve really decided to go full power on the whole ‘brightening’ thing. I’m looking forward to seeing if a $60 toner makes any kind of difference.

In terms of makeup, I really only picked up one item for myself, and that is the Burberry Eye Colour – Wet & Dry Glow Shadow in No. 003 Shell, which is a gorgeous shimmery peach colour that I’m hoping will work as a subtle everyday glow. I also picked up a Burberry Lip Velvet Lipstick in Oxblood as a partial Christmas present for my mom – she loves colours like this, and she loves Burberry.

I also redeemed 200 points on a couple of minis – a loose powder and a travel size of my Clinique moisturizer.

What did you pick up in the sale and what are you most excited to try?

Little Pots of Luxury for Holiday

It’s not often I’ll splurge on fancy body products, but you might remember I reluctantly opened my wallet and bought one of the Laura Mercier body souffles during last year’s Sephora sale. Well – that was a grave mistake, because it’s basically made it way easier for me to spend on ridiculously high priced stuff. I should qualify that by saying that since then I’ve ‘only’ bought another full-sized body souffle in the Tarte au Citron flavour (divine). Every year for holiday, Laura Mercier brings out some variation of the mini set of six of her lotions. This year was no different, and while I could barely justify spending the $72 on this set (works out to the same price per ounce of product as a full-size lotion), I got a friend of mine – actually the one who originally got me sniffing these in the first place! – to go halvsies with me, since I don’t like all of the scents. The vanilla and creme brulee flavours I find far too sweet, but I had been dying to try the Almond Coconut variety.

If you’re wondering why on earth anyone would pay $72 for a jar of body lotion, the answer is… because it’s unlike any other body lotion you can imagine. It’s a rich, luxurious texture, but it’s also whipped, so it’s easy to rub into the skin. It also smells mouthwateringly good.  Don’t be fooled by the names of the scents – they actually have many more layers to them than just Vanilla, or just Creme brulee. The Vanilla one, for example, smells like “vanilla, tangerine & brown sugar” (taken from the Laura Mercier site). I’ve said before that I treat this like a perfume, only dabbing a bit on where one would normally apply perfume, and in my opinion, it lasts longer than a perfume. Your wrists will stay smelling delicious for the entire day and night. So if you look at it like a perfume, the $72 is totally worth it.

If you live in the US, you’re very lucky, as Sephora stocks this set online (and in store?), which is called La Petite Souffles Souffle Body Creme Collection, but for us up here in Canada, I bought mine at Holt Renfrew. The Laura Mercier body collection sets are all very tempting, but I think I’ll stick to half of this set for now.

Have you ever tried any of the Laura Mercier bath & body products and what is your favourite scent? What will you be splurging on for the holidays this year?