New Things I’ve Been Slapping on My Face

It seems that I always tend to run out of stuff at around the same time, especially skincare-wise. I’ve been adding in a couple things here and there and trying some new stuff since part of my ‘no buy’ this year has been to use up as much as I can (which incidentally, limits the buying of new things). I recently ran out of my night serum and eye cream, so to replace them I headed over to Sephora and picked up the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, which is part of the same colour-coded line as the moisturizer I posted about a while ago. It’s a serum that’s chock-full of acids that are supposed to help resurface the skin overnight. So far I’ve been enjoying it, although the acids really make their presence known if you have any dry bits or active acne on your face – it definitely stings!

To replace my eye cream I decided to break into my stash of accumulated Birchbox items and try the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, which I’m not sure is actually available in Canada – at least I haven’t seen it in any stores, though I’ve seen it sold in American drugstores for sure. The stuff smells absolutely divine and has a smooth, creamy texture that isn’t too rich. I haven’t noticed any de-puffing but I don’t have puffy eyes as a rule. It also sits well under makeup, which not all eye creams do. I’m not sure if it will be hydrating enough in the winter months, but for now I will continue to use it.

On the makeup front, I have a few new things that I had gotten as freebies or point perks from Sephora, so thought it was time to try. First up is the Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder, which I picked up ages ago in the last Sephora 20% sale. A friend of mine has been raving about this stuff for ages and I can see why. I use it to set my undereye concealer with a damp beautyblender and it is amazing. There’s no creasing or breaking apart of the concealer at all throughout the day. I’d highly recommend! Next is a mini of the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon that was part of the Sephora birthday gift this year. I had yet to break it open and decided to test it out on the weekend as I have never found an eyeliner in pencil form that has worked for me at all. Sad to say this guy smudges on me too – a little less than the traditional kohl versions, but I’ll be sticking to liquid liner for sure.

Lastly,since I ran out of my Bare Minerals one, I’ve been trying a new waterproof mascara top coat in the NYX Proof It!, which I find works okay but leaves a major white cast on the lashes, which is a very unattractive thing. I’ll be on the hunt for other drugstore options when I use this up or decide to get rid of it, sadly.

Have you tried any of these products and what did you think?

Cleaning Dem Brushes…

Cleaning brushes and tools are everyone’s [least] favourite chore. Too bad it’s a daily or at least weekly task for most everyday makeup wearers like myself. I’ve spoken about how much I love the beautyblender blendercleanser solid before, because it makes cleaning so much easier: a swirl, a rinse and a wring – that’s all it takes. The only downsides to using a solid cleanser is that it goes really fast, and it is quite expensive – the beautyblender brand will set you back $22 CAD.

Now I’m someone who uses a beautyblender to apply my makeup daily, and I wash it daily because of my acne-prone skin – also, a dirty sponge seems grosser than a dirty brush, not sure why. Any brushes I use for bronzer, eyeshadow, etc., are washed weekly. That means each solid cleanser I use doesn’t last overly long – I’d say about 2-3 months.

So I’ve been hunting for alternative solid cleansers, since they seem to get the job done so much better than other options (I’ve tried Dr. Bronner’s soap, face cleanser, and even hand soap on occasion). They don’t seem to sell any at the drugstore, so the only one I could get my hands on was the Sephora brand Solid Brush Cleanser, which was actually sold out in a ton of locations. It took me a while to track it down, which I figured had to mean good things. It is $5 less, which isn’t a whole ton of money, but cheaper nonetheless, and it has a scent to it, which is quite pleasant and not overpowering. Both cleansers come with plastic pink doodads to scrub your brushes on to help get the makeup out. The Sephora brand works just as well, so in the future I’ll be re-purchasing that one for sure, if I can find it!

What are your favourite methods to clean your brushes and what would you recommend?

The Mascara Struggles


Those of you who have oily skin / oily eyelids and stick-straight lashes, you know what I’m talking about in the title. Mascara formulas labeled as ‘waterproof’ may be so, but on my eyes, they seems to just break apart and smudge all over the place. It’s interesting as mascara is a super subjective product as well – people really diverge on their opinions of various brands and products, but for me, anything that holds a curl and doesn’t smudge is pretty much a winning product at this point. Even though I’ve discovered waterproof top coats, which can sometimes work, it’s tricky to cover the entire area without making things too goopy.

Last year I used the Marc Jacobs Lash Lifter – Gel Definition Mascara, which was great, but for $33 a tube, it seemed a bit steep. So ever since I used that up, I’ve been on the hunt for a drugstore formula that actually achieves my mascara goals. So far, it’s been a difficult one, and the majority I’ve tried in recent years have been fails. The closest I’d ever gotten to a drugstore mascara that ever worked was a Revlon one, but now Revlon have discontinued all their formulas and brought out new ones with more uniform packaging – not a waterproof formula in sight.

With this in mind, I recently picked up the Covergirl Plumpify BlastPRO Waterproof Mascara, since I hadn’t tried a Covergirl mascara in years. First of all, it smudges, so a big no-no. Second, the wand is ENORMOUS (see top left in second picture) and spiky, with a ball on the end. Basically the whole contraption is dangerous and messy – difficult to coat the lashes properly without poking yourself in the eye or getting mascara all over the place. This is a huge fail and quite a disappointment.

I also got a sample of the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ages and ages ago and have been using it a bit here and there – it’s definitely not waterproof, but it makes me sad because I actually love the way it makes my lashes look: volumized and defined. I usually throw some of the waterproof top coat over it and it works alright, but generally speaking I’d rather have one step. The wand is also great (top right) – small and curved and easy to use.

I’ve been having a real moment with bottom lashes and I decided to re-purchase the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, which I’d gotten years ago but never bought again. I absolutely love the wand on this one (bottom right) – tiny and defined and easy to use. I even use this stuff on my top lashes sometimes, especially closer to the inner corner of the eye. I wouldn’t say this formula is budge-proof but it does last most of the day.

The real find for me was both awesome and a disappointment, the latter due to my commitment to finding a great lower priced mascara. In my Cult Beauty haul I picked up the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara, and hallelujah – it works and does everything it’s supposed to! It’s got a curved, triple-bobble wand (bottom left) that makes it really easy to apply to both the top and bottom lashes. The formula has little fibres in it that add volume and length, and does not move even in the summer heat. The only downside is that it cost £18.50, which works out to about $30+ CAD. It’s a lot to pay for a mascara, and I hope it lasts a good long time.

I will definitely still be trying all kinds of drugstore formulas to find the perfect mascara under $30, but in the meantime, what would you recommend for someone with oily eyelids and straight lashes?

The Cult Beauty Haul

A high-end haul, right on the heels of a series of posts claiming I’m on a no-buy? I must be kidding, right? Recently, I finished up my mini of the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, which I had posted about ages ago, but decided to actually use up, since I know the stuff is pricey. I actually ended up not minding it at all, and between that and the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I’ve gotten quite used to mixing a drop or two of nourishing oil into my nighttime moisturizer.

So when I ran out of the Luna, I panicked a little bit. Despite using a drop everyday, I’m still quite the facial oil n00b, and am always very cautious of over-moisturizing my oily skin, so I did some research and the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil came up as being really good for oily and problematic skin. Strangely enough, Sephora Canada doesn’t carry Artemis online, although they carry the rest of the Sunday Riley line. At this point, I turned to cultbeauty.co.uk, which is the favourite of every UK beauty blogger I watch, and I’d dithered a bit on ordering from in the past. I figured this was my chance, despite the terrifying prospect of placing an order in pounds.

Of course if I was going to take the leap of ordering, I might as well get some other stuff too right? I could not leave the website without adding the absolute cult Pixi Glow Tonic to my basket. It retails for £18.00, which works out to about $30 CAD, if not more. Is this excessive for a toner? Definitely. But I will be cracking it open the second I finish my current toner.

Because I only have mediocre self-control, I allowed myself one more thing – the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara. I’ve been having a bit of a battle with my mascara recently, which will be addressed in the next post, so I decided to try this, as I’ve heard loads about it and it gets tons of love online. It promises volume + curl, and smudge-proof goodness on top of it all. I’m very excited to get into this one for sure.

The package (including two free samples) came in about a week, which isn’t bad for coming across the pond, and Cult Beauty also does free worldwide shipping for orders over £50, a threshold that is easily crossed on the site!

Have you ever tried any of these products and what are your Cult Beauty faves?