The Mini-Purge

As we’re nearing the end of a very unsatisfying summer here in my part of the world, I thought it would be a good idea to get rid of a few beauty products from my stash that I’ve either finished, used to death or has just plain gotten old (or some combo of the above).

The first product I have used up is the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Pixi only came into Canadian stores less than a year ago and this was the first product I picked up to try since I’m always in need of a good setting spray. This one smelled like roses, which I’m not overly fond of, and unfortunately the spray was terrible – in fact it stopped working altogether and I had to decant the liquid into a different bottle. Either way, it only did a so-so job of making my makeup last longer, so I won’t be repurchasing, although I am curious about other products in the line since I do like their Glow Tonic.

One product I’ve simply had for too long is the Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, which actually came with an eyeshadow palette that I bought years ago. It’s good, and I used it for a while, but since I don’t actually wear powder eyeshadow all that often, it’s simply gotten old and very difficult to push out of the tube, so it’s about time I say goodbye.

Another product I’ve had for an appalling amount of time is the Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in shade 3. This is the first bronzer I ever bought in my life and I used it every single day Monday-Friday for the past.. 5 years. Yes. I said it – you probably think I’m absolutely disgusting and/or demented, but these things seem to last forever. I finally reached the point where the ring around the outside shattered and it was no longer possible to get product onto my brush properly, so I’m finally getting rid of it. Would I repurchase? At some point in the future, maybe. It’s a great texture and colour, and I love that there are so many different shades. This was a bronzer I could just go to town on since it isn’t overly pigmented, nor is it too dark for me. Just the fact that I used it for so many years, however,  has me wanting to try other things.

The last item I’m parting with is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil. I bought this last year and they soon discontinued the product, so I won’t be able to buy it anymore. It was nice while it lasted but now it’s been open for a while so what is left of the product inside has gotten very gloopy, separated and crusty around the edges. I would like to try the UFO Clarifying Oil next, which I believe was released to replace this product.

What have you gotten rid of recently and what are you going to try next?

Concealing it All


Concealer is probably my favourite and most necessary makeup product of all time. For those of you with perfect skin and no dark circles, I am extremely jealous. But for me, concealer is essential – I have oily, acne-prone skin with hyperpigmentation issues and very intense dark circles. Even on days that I don’t do a full mask of foundation, I like to pop at least a small amount of concealer onto my worst areas so that I don’t scare small children.

Recently, I’ve gotten into colour-correcting a bit more. Green concealers help cancel out red on the face, so to help cover my angry blemish scars, I like to swipe a bit of the CoverFX Correct Click Color Corrector in green before I apply any foundation or concealer, and it really helps to cover up the redness underneath. The texture is very smooth and not too heavy, which is always something that concerns me when I’m layering multiple products.

When I wear no foundation and my concealer really has to match my skin tone, I have to use a couple different shades since my t-zone is darker than my cheeks. On my cheeks I like to use the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in the shade light neutral (third from left swatch). Enough ink has been spilled on this product – quite simply, it’s great. On my chin and nose I use the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in the shade 11 – Tatin (right-most swatch). This is a shade I can only use when I’m tanned, but I would love to pick up more shades as I think this is a really lovely concealer – it’s smooth and light, and has decent coverage. It also blends very easily.

Under my eyes, on quick and easy days, I just use a small dab of the Tarte CC Undereye Corrector in the shade light-medium (top swatch). This stuff is amazing – so full coverage and just the perfect peachy tone (re: not too pink) for my naturally yellow-toned skin. If I want to be a little brighter under the eyes, I use a swipe of the ultra pale CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Concealer in light/medium. This stuff is not in the medium realm of skin tones, by the way (swatched in the picture just right of the green), so I can only really use this under my eyes, which I love.

What are your favourite concealers and colour correctors?

Switching up the Routine..

I’m pretty much a creature of habit. Despite my love of beauty products and unbelievable amount of variety out there, I tend to go back to more or less the same thing, every time. I use the same eye creams, serums and foundations, over and over again. I’m also always looking for similar ingredients, even if I don’t re-purchase exact products. I’m also really slow on the uptake – trends or new hyped up products tend to take ages for me to try, but this time around, I think I’m almost on the edge of being up to date on a few new launches!

The newest product of the bunch is the Revlon Colorstay Creme Eyeshadow in the shade 730. These are not super new, but they are new in Canada – the display just came into my local drugstore a week or so ago so I had to try one. You’ll know I have an obsession with gold/brown cream shadows, so I tried to go a bit different here with the shade – Praline. It’s a lovely pinky champagne colour that I don’t normally go for. Not that I’m trying to kid myself, this is not a wild colour by any means, it’s just not in my usual comfort zone. Revlon have a gold and a bronze, both of which I was tempted to grab, but I resisted. The formula is quite different from other cream shadows I own – it’s a thin formula that spreads easily and packs quite the punch, pigment-wise. I’ve been enjoying this so far and will continue to wear it year round.

Another relatively new launch in Canada, despite it being a Canadian brand, is The Ordinary. I know the products have been available online for a while, but I have never seen them in stores until recently. I’ve been dying to try a whole ton of products from the line but resisted since I wanted to see how just one went – to start, I picked up the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula.  I’ve been using it as a night-time serum as well as mixing a drop or two in with my morning moisturizer, and so far, so good. I haven’t used it long enough to see any visible differences, but it hasn’t made my break out. I don’t think I’ve ever used either of those ingredients as an acne treatment before, so I’m super curious to see what it’ll do. And the really affordable price tag makes everything better – I won’t feel like I’ve wasted a whole ton of money even if it doesn’t work out. If it does end up working out, I’d like to go back and pick up one of the Vitamin C or AHA/BHA treatments.

Toners are one of my favourite skincare items to try out – don’t ask me why, they’re really exciting to me for some reason. So, when I saw the belif brand in a Face Shop store, I knew I had to pick something up from the line. belif is not a new line and has been available in American Sephoras for ages now, but in Canada, they are not available for some reason. There are three different toners in the brand and I picked up the Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner, which is geared toward dry skin, but as you might know, witch hazel is a great ingredient for reducing blemishes. Since the entire theme of my skincare routine this year seems to be ‘acne-fighting + moisture = win’, this has been a great addition to my morning routine. The texture is quite thick for a toner, so I just pour a bit into the palm of my hand and pat into my skin. It’s been a few weeks now and so far I really like this toner and would like to try more from the line.

The Una Brennan Probiotic Micellar Water is something I’ve been using it on and off for the last few months, and it’s really great for removing makeup without leaving any residue OR leaving the skin tight and dry. I typically remove my makeup at the end of the day with an oil or balm, but now that we’re into the warmer summer months, using this micellar water is really refreshing.

I’ve saved the best for last again… Urban Decay has been releasing a lot of new products in the last little while, and none of them really caught my interest until I heard about the Velvetizer Translucent Mix-In Medium, which made me squeal inside. This is an ultra fine loose powder that’s meant to have a variety of uses – you can use it to set your makeup, or mix a little in with any foundation to make it more matte and velvety. For an oily-skinned gal such as much as myself this is basically a dream come true. There are so many foundations/tinted moisturizers I would love to try out there but have always been afraid because of how oily I get in my t-zone. Not to say that I will now be trying out luminous formulas, but for example the It Cosmetics CC cream is one that I’ve added to my stash and would love to wear more, but I find that it never dries down on me and is tacky and melts down throughout the day. Adding a bit of the Velvetizer actually makes this stuff stay on all day long, making it the perfect foundation for summer, with the SPF 50. Using the Velvetizer as an all over setting powder is also amazing – it’s so finely milled and soft that it makes the skin look airbrushed. The only thing I’ll say you can’t do with this is bake under the eyes – but that’s okay since other powders can do that easily.

What have you tried recently and what have your favourite new products been?

The Honey Duel

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Ahh honey… it’s one of the most unique ingredients out there, and lately I’ve come to really appreciate its use in skincare. Over the past few months I’ve picked up a couple of very popular and raved about masks that are designed to have a multitude of benefits, and I’ll have to agree with most of them.

The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask is a longstanding favourite of skincare junkies everywhere – it’s just not exactly easy to pick up in Canada, since it’s a New Zealand brand. However, it’s available now online from a few different sources, so for sure I’ll be going to one of those when I run out! Since honey has anti-bacterial properties, this mask is meant to help those with blemish-prone skin. Honey is also very moisturizing, so I just love that this helps to keep acne at bay without drying things out too much. A few years ago I was really into the mud mask types but it seems like as I get older, my skin is a lot drier than it used to be in certain places. I’ve been using this mask about 1-2 times a week and it’s made my skin a lot clearer. I highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from breakouts!

Another honey-based mask that’s received a lot of hype is the much newer Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, which is meant to both hydrate the skin and make it glow. It has the oddest texture – it comes out of the jar as a yellow paste, but as it’s massaged into the skin it turns white and tingly. I’d say if you have sensitive skin, get a sample of this before spending all your dollars. When the mask is washed off, it leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth. I’m not exactly sure of the ingredients, but the way it feels is like an acid peel; I like to put a soothing moisturizer on after using this mask so that my skin doesn’t get too irritated.

I’d recommend both for various reasons, but will likely only be repurchasing the Antipodes mask. Have you tried either/both of these masks? And what other honey products would you recommend?

Some Empties and Reviews

Recently I’ve finished a few products, which I’m quite pleased about. It’s tough to finish full sizes of things when there are so many products one wants to try all the time! Luckily I’m pretty good at using up skincare pretty consistently – I’ve got some thoughts to share on the few empty bottles pictured above.

The Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum is one I had been dying to try for ages. It was a lovely creamy texture that worked great throughout the colder months – acne treatments tend to be a bit drying, so I really appreciated that this wasn’t. As for actual effectiveness, however, I will say that this was not my favourite product in the world. It didn’t seem to do much to reduce or prevent breakouts, nor is this a cheap serum, so I won’t be repurchasing. I’ve since gone back to using the Boscia offering, which is much better and cheaper to boot!

Another skincare product I managed to use up recently is the Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion. If you’ve been around my blog at all, you’ll know that the Fresh Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar is basically my all time favourite, must-have skincare product. I’ve always wanted to try more from the line but never splashed out until recently. Unfortunately, the lotion did not work out as well as the treatment bar. While it went on the skin great, it would eventually ball up and pill on the skin if I rubbed it at all. This was not good for under makeup; I would only recommend wearing this on days you plan on going bare-faced, which isn’t great, especially with the $50 price tag.

The last ‘skincare’ type product I finished is the first supplement I’ve ever tried for skin. I used two full bottles of the Genuine Health Perfect Skin and didn’t honestly see much of a difference. It’s supposed to be taken everyday for at least a month or so, which I did, but struggled to see anything different. In fact, now that I’ve stopped taking the supplement, my skin is less blemished than before. Unsure if this could be a detoxifying effect, but I’ve decided to rely on diet/skincare/drinking lots of water for now to try to improve my skin.

Apologies for the negativity in this post, but sadly, that’s been the reality of these products. I’ve saved the best for last though – the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in shade 120 is finally used up! This is one of my favourite foundations – it’s lightweight and stays matte for several hours, and is very affordable. The only thing I have issues with is colour selection/oxidization, but that’s a problem I’ve had with virtually every foundation I’ve ever tried. I would totally repurchase this foundation and heartily recommend it to anyone who is interested. This is the first in what I hope is a series of half-used foundations that I am aiming to finish up by the end of the year.

What have you used up recently and what is your goal for using up products in 2017?

Goodies from Tarte


Ahh, the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. Has there ever been so much hype surrounding a beauty product? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of such a unanimously adored concealer as this – not even the NARS or Urban Decay offerings from the past few years have ever gotten so much universal love. And you know what, after trying all three of them, I can totally see why. Of course people have different skin types and requirements, so for me, I found the NARS colour selection to be off for my skin, not to mention far too cakey for under the eyes, and the Urban Decay one oxidized way too much (just like all UD face products I’ve tried).

The Shape Tape is the pretty much the perfect concealer – it’s lightweight, easily blendable, and has the fullest coverage of any concealer I’ve ever tried. It works for under the eyes and isn’t too radiant for covering blemishes. The packaging is quite interesting, the tube is much bigger than other concealers, and the doe foot applicator is positively giant. A tiny bit of this stuff goes a LONG way, it’s actually insane. I picked up the shades Light Sand (yellow undertone) and Light Neutral, which as you can see in the swatches, are actually quite different, Light Neutral being much darker than Light Sand. To get the perfect shade for me I do have to mix them a bit but that is fine. I still haven’t gotten much sun this year so in the summer I’ll definitely have to buy a darker shade, but for now the two I picked up are working great.

While I was ordering, I decided to also try out one of the new Color Splash Lipsticks, which I’ve heard good things about it. Because the formula is more hydrating, I decided to go with a nude, so I picked the shade Sunkissed, which is described as a ‘pink peach’ but I would really describe more peach and quite a bit warmer than a pink. It goes on smoothly and looks great with a gloss on top. I think I’ll get a lot of wear with this one throughout the year.

Have you tried the Shape Tape Concealer and what do you think? What other Tarte products would you recommend?

An Oil For Every Occasion

Facial oils.. they’ve been all the rage in the past few years, and have become a staple in everyone’s skincare routine. They’re easy to get into if you have dry skin, but how about us oily-skinned gals, who have been running in fear every time we see a bottle that lists oil as one of the ingredients?

The one oil I’ve been using for years is tea tree oil, which I buy from The Body Shop, although you can get it anywhere, really. This is the best acne treatment if I have a blemish and want to treat it but also wear makeup. Other spot treatments don’t sit well under makeup, so just taking a cotton swab of this stuff works great. Another blemish-busting oil I’ve been using for almost a year now is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydoactive Cellular Face Oil, which I mix in with my nighttime moisturizer. It smells awful, like most Sunday Riley products, but I’ve found it does help overall with facial clarity. Sadly, they’ve discontinued this product, but when it runs out I do plan on trying the Ultra Clarifying Oil from the same line – I’ve been told by people I know that it works a treat.

Even us oily-skinned folk do get dry sometimes though. In the winter I tend to collect dry patches around my cheeks and nose, which happened loads this year. When that happens I usually pull out my Argania Argan Oil, which I picked up at my local Winners. The brand doesn’t really matter, any high-quality argan oil will do. This stuff moisturizes like nothing else – although I have to be careful of not over-using it, otherwise my skin can freak out. Another great and cult favourite oil is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which I’ve also been using for a few years now. This is a really light oil that absorbs quickly into the skin and I tend to use this when I need to calm my skin down, whether it’s due to breakouts, dryness or if I’ve just used an intense acid mask. I find it’s a good all-around treatment whatever my issue is.

What are your favourite facial oils and what would you recommend?