The Mid-Tone Berry Lip

My love affair with berry lips has been well-documented on this blog. Around this time last year I went a bit bonkers buying several of the exact same shade of deep plum lipstick in various forms and brands. Since the NYX store opened here, it’s been a slow discovery of products – the brand is well-represented by American beauty bloggers and YouTubers, but us Canadians were only able to access a limited selection at Rexall drugstores. Now, both the standalone store and Shoppers Drug Mart are carrying these products, so it’s gotten me really excited to try from a brand that has been previously quite difficult to source here in Canada.

A friend of mine has recently been professing her love for the Soft Matte Lip Creams. The only NYX product I’d ever tried was the Butter Gloss, which is a cult favourite, and for good reason, so I thought, based on that, their other lip products are probably half decent, so I ventured out and for $9 came back with the soft matte lip cream in the shade Prague, which is a lovely purple-plum shade that is a lot lighter than my usual berry offerings (I almost grabbed the shade Copenhagen). It may be officially spring, but as I sit here typing, there is a light blanket of snow covering the ground, so I figure it can’t be too wrong to be rocking a plum lip this far into the year, and with this shade being slightly lighter, it definitely works well into spring.

As for the formula, I’m not the biggest fan in general of liquid lipsticks, although being such a lipstick n00b in general it isn’t like I’ve tried that many of them – but this one is definitely a winner! It sits fairly comfortably on the lips, as far as a matte lipstick goes, and there’s some transfer, but nothing too crazy. It also re-applies really nicely – layering doesn’t cause bits to fall off or flake or get weird. The only complaint I really have about the thing is the doe foot applicator, but I figure it’ll just take some practice to get those precise lines.

Have you ever tried the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams and what is your favourite shade?

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The Foundation Collection and Foundation Mixology

With all the whittling down and minimizing of my makeup collection, it is still slightly astounding that I have this many foundations. However, I’ve still operated off more or less a one-in-one-out system, as well as having various shades for different seasons, so here is the final collection for now:

One foundation I have kept around in my stash because of its colour rather than its formula is the CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Oil Free Foundation. As you’ll see in the swatches below (swatched in the same order as pictured above), it’s slightly too light and pinky for me, so it’s a great mixer for those that are either too dark and/or too yellow, which I have a problem with overall. Once it’s used up, I won’t be repurchasing, but if you have normal skin, this is probably a great foundation, as it does last a long time on the skin.

I won’t go on and on because I’ve already posted at length about the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in various places on this blog. Still loving it, will repurchase forever. The only downside is that I need to mix two shades to get the right colour. Next up is another one I’ve blogged about recently, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation, which is also quite good, but needs mixing with the CoverGirl due to the colour. Another far too yellow base is the CoverFX Custom Cover Drops in the shade N35, which is supposed to be neutral, but if that’s neutral, I don’t know what the warm shades are like in the line! I recently put the product into my 2015 un-favourites, but I do keep them around for experimentation purposes. I’ll likely never use it up, but for now, it’s sticking around in my collection.

Getting into my summer shades, there’s the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation, which I rarely use, to be honest. It doesn’t control oil as well as it claims, and while I like the colour of it, it does feel a bit heavy on the skin, so this is one I only pull out if I know I’ll be wearing makeup for a short amount of time.

Last, but not least is my almost used-up ultimate tan shade, which is the Benefit Better than BB Big Easy Foundation. I’ve been using this stuff for a long time and while I do love the formula, it’s obvious from the swatch below that the shade is far too dark for me, so I really need to get a good tan before I can use this.

Overall, it really seems I have a type – creamy, oil free foundations with medium coverage that come in a tube. What are your favourites and what drugstore/high-end products are must-haves in your collection?

New Shower Favourites from the Drugstore

Showering is one of my favourite things to do everyday – including washing my hair. While I don’t tend to splurge too much on my hair/body stuff, I do like to try different products, and the drugstore has become a mecca for luxurious items at an affordable price point recently.

Dove brought out their Purely Pampering line a while ago, but it was only a few months back that I picked up the Pistachio Cream Body Wash as a nice, warm and sweet winter scent to use for bath time. I’ve said again and again how much I love the Laura Mercier Pistachio Scent, and while they do a corresponding body wash, it costs somewhere around $50. The Dove one smells surprisingly similar – it has the same rich aroma, with an undercurrent of the signature Dove scent. Apparently Dove has a corresponding body lotion, but it’s not sold in Canada. GRR!

After showering, I’ve been using the Vitabath Heavenly Coconut Creme Body Lotion. This is an interesting product, as the consistency sits somewhere between a watery lotion and a body butter. I didn’t really like it when I first got it, but now it’s grown on me, and the scent is lovely – warm coconut and not too sickly sweet.

The last item on my list is yet another OGX shampoo – they really are my favourite sulphate-free range at the drugstore, and while they’re more expensive than regular shampoo, they’re often on sale for $7-8. A couple months ago, I started seeing this new scent on the shelves, and decided to try it out. The Sensually Soft Tsubaki Blossom products are supposed to leave hair soft and sultry, as the name suggests. What I like about this in particular is that it cleans hair quite well without leaving the hair stripped, sitting somewhere between a hardcore clarifying shampoo and a more creamy, moisturizing formula. There’s also virtually no scent, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, this is a good buy.

What have your recent shower/bath-time favourites been, and what should I try next?

The No Buy Sephora Haul

A Sephora haul – right at the beginning of a no-buy year?? That can only mean one thing – my birthday is just around the corner, and while I did dedicate myself to not buying unnecessary stuff in 2016, I can’t say no to free! Case in point, the annual Sephora birthday gift. They have two choices this year, and I chose the Marc Jacobs mini set that includes a tiny mauvey-nude lipstick and one of their gel eye pencils, which I’ve always wanted to try. With that, I also picked up a free set of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula pads, which are supposed to help with breakouts, oil, wrinkles and dullness – quite the claim, so I’m excited to try these.

What I actually spent money on was pretty boring and stuff I actually needed – a new top coat, since I’m running out, so I’ve decided to go back to and try the new re-branded (and more expensive) Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar, an old staple. I also needed a new pair of tweezers, so I went with the trusty Mini Slant Tweezers from Tweezerman. The one thing I ‘treated’ myself to was a sample kit of La Neige minis, which contains a couple items I’m currently using/have tried, as well as some new stuff to try.

All in all, I don’t think this was a bad effort or overspending too much, so in spite of my no-buy I’m really pleased with this year’s birthday haul, and so is my wallet.

What have you tried recently from Sephora, and what would you recommend?