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?

On the Fence Products

Do you ever have those products that you’re just not sure about? They didn’t wow you, but they didn’t really suck either? Recently I’ve found a few of those that have been rattling around my collection and decided I would share them with you all.

The first one is a cult favourite product that made the rounds on the internet – the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. It’s meant to be a toner/setting spray/refreshing mist that tones and hydrates, but I don’t really see that it does much. It has a very minty herbal smell that isn’t bad but lingers in a way I don’t like. I will definitely continue to use this up as it was an expensive product, but will not repurchase and I haven’t seen any benefits thus far.

Another popular product is the CoverFX Perfect Pencil, which I have in in the shade G Medium. This is a multi-purpose skin-coloured pencil with a teeny tiny tip for precise application. It can be used all over the face, or in the waterline to brighten eyes. I love the concept of this pencil, but I have found that this does not work well on the face. When I try to blend out the edges, it all wipes away, and it isn’t creamy enough to use in my waterline – not to mention I wouldn’t use a $25 pencil as a nude eyeliner when there are so many cheaper options out there.

Lastly, the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara is a product I got in a Birchbox last year and I’ve been playing with over the past few weeks. The brush is of the curved bristle variety, and it actually applies the product really well – my lashes look separated, lengthened and thicker with this mascara. The problem is that I constantly struggle with the oiliness of my eyelids and smudgy mascara. This one I can wear for a couple of hours without smudging, but it’s not an all-day wear product for me, unfortunately. I think that if you don’t have a mascara smudging problem then this would be a great mascara for you, but sadly for me, it’s reserved for short weekend outings.

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

The Travel Essentials

I’m jetting off on a week-long trip soon and I thought I’d share a few essentials I am bringing with me. Aside from being ridiculously cute, mini products are great for saving for these types of occasions.

For skincare, I’m bringing the Laneige Multi Cleanser, which is a creamy and lightly exfoliating daily face wash, then I’ll be using my mini of the Sunday Riley Martial Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner and then slapping on my absolute favourite Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which works great for both day and night. For any breakouts that might happen (which often do when I travel, sadly), I have my trusty Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel. If that’s not strong enough, I can use a dab of the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment, or use it all over the face.

For makeup, I’ve got the mini of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, which is great for under the eyes and around the face, which will be blended out with my Sephora Collection Pro Mini Airbrush #55.5 Brush. For adding warmth and contouring the NYX Contour Pro Single in Sienna is being packed away for its compactness – it’s also a great colour. For highlight, the cute little Benefit Watt’s Up is my favourite, and it doubles as a great cream eyeshadow. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a perennial favourite, and having a mini-sized pen is just great for travel.

To take all this makeup off at the end of the day I have the cutest pot of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, and to wash my brushes, I packed the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser.

What are your travel go-tos and what do you recommend?

Hopping onto the Colourpop Train



ColourPop…probably one of the biggest breakout brands in the last couple years – the name has been on everyone’s lips and the products on everyone’s faces. I finally jumped on the bandwagon around Christmas – I had browsed the site about a million times but never bitten the bullet. Around the holidays, however, there was a discount on some of the products due to KathleenLights and her work with the brand. So I figured, why not? I placed and order and started playing a bit with these products.

The first thing I noticed is that the texture is WEIRD. I have absolutely no idea how to describe it – if you haven’t tried any of the Super Shock eye/cheek products, I’d recommend you stick your finger into one if you can. It’s like a gel/cream/powder all in one. I picked up the Super Shock shadows in the shades: Glow (matte cream), Cornelious (matte medium warm brown), KathleenLights (metallic copper), Blaze (metallic bronze), La La (metallic pinky-copper),  and Cheap Date (metallic gold). I took me a little while to figure out how to use these – but I think I’ve sort of figured it out. Fingers are definitely best. There’s no getting around that – dipping a brush into the pots doesn’t really pick up much product. I’ve tried with several brushes and the colour payoff is pretty pathetic. What I’ve been doing is dipping my finger into the colour, placing it roughly where I want it, and then using my blending brush to soften the edges. The easiest look for me is to use Glow all over the lid and then stick a bit of Cornelious into the crease. But La La and KathleenLights are beautiful all over the lid as well. Cheap Date came shattered, but it still works, so I haven’t really had any complaints there – only that the colour itself is extremely metallic and more difficult to wear.

Another product I picked up is the Super Shock Cheek bronzer in the shade Paradise Cove, which I can’t seem to find on the website anymore (discontinued?). Either way, it’s a lovely mid-toned brown with very tiny shimmer, which is new to me. I’ve never owned 1) a cream bronzer or, 2) a metallic bronzer. This will be very pretty in the summer. I use the same method – dip my fingers in the pot, paint it all around the perimeter of my face, take my brush and blend it all in.

I will say that despite my initial annoyance with the inability to stick a brush into the products, they blend out beautifully and build pigment really nicely as well. I’d like to try more of their products and especially their new pressed powder shadows eventually.

The Creme Gel Liners from ColourPop have received a lot of good press as well, so I couldn’t resist trying a couple, despite the consistent inability for me to wear pencil-type eyeliners. I picked up two shades – Over Board (shimmery bronze) and Dirty Talk (shimmery gold). Both are too light for me to really use on my upper lash line, and they tend to dissolve in my waterline (as all liners seem to..). The one thing I’ve really been enjoying doing is to smudge a bit of Over Board into the outer half of my lower lash line just below my waterline, and then Dirty Talk in the inner half. They blend really well together and last all day like that with no smudging.

All in all I am really enjoying (and still experimenting with) ColourPop products and I can see how people get addicted to collecting them! What ColourPop products have you tried and what would you recommend?

The Winter Switchup

In this part of the world, winter has not been that bad thus far – it has to be said. But inevitably, the colder temperatures bring drier air and plenty of wind, which wreaks havoc on my skin every year.

It was around December when I started to really feel the dehydration and dry patches. I was forced to put away my usual night time moisturizer and bring out the big guns – the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, which I mix with a couple drops of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It took about four consecutive days of use, but after that most of my dry patches were gone. Now I use this combo a couple times a week just for maintenance, as I do need constant injections of moisture in my PM routine.

Another product I bought in a bit of a panic was the Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea, because I was in need of a more hydrating toner. It smells wonderful and I slap a bit of this on after cleansing in the morning, so that my skin isn’t so sapped from all the various treatments I use during the day. As you can tell, I don’t normally keep anything too hydrating in my routine but this time of year, it’s so important even for us oily-skinned folks!

The last thing I’ve had issues with is foundation shade-matching. For some reason all of the foundations I own have been oxidizing like crazy on me, and I’m at my palest, so I was struggling a bit with what to do, since I’m so used to buying light-medium or medium foundations that I finally had to run to the drugstore and pick up a shade that made no sense to me – the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in the shade 120 Classic Ivory. It’s light with neutral undertones – the problem for me is that I have quite neutral-warm undertones, but most brands’ lightest shades lean quite cool, so it’s an ongoing battle for me. So far I’ve been mixing this with a bit of my regular foundations to lighten it up, but the oxidizing issue is persistent. If you guys have any ideas of how to prevent or lessen this, any suggestions would be welcome! I have already tried the primer / primer + powder prior to foundation and neither have worked so far :(.

What are your winter skincare and makeup staples?

2016 Final Clearout and Purge


This is my last post detailing the products I’ve used in 2016 and I’m sure you’re all sick of it, but since 2016 was a year of major commitment to using up products and buying less, I thought it was important to see what I had actually managed to accomplish in this area.

The first picture has all the stuff I used up – mostly skincare and minis. I really powered through a few things, and have already repurchased some. Other things, including the Algenist GENIUS White Brightening Moisture Softener, I am really missing. It was a pricey little number, but it really did reduce my dark spots and worked great at moisturizing. I will also totally repurchase the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, and The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, which are all amazing and not overly expensive.

Some ‘meh’ products that I won’t be looking for again include the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – what exactly does this stuff do again? I also saw absolutely no results from the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener. Quite disappointing, but that’s how it goes with products sometimes.

I am also getting rid of quite a few makeup products – as you know, they have a shelf life and things can get a bit funky after a while. I’d say I probably keep products longer than the average person so really, it’s important that I get rid of things regularly… I’m working on it. Two major product dumps are sadly, high-end foundations: the Benefit The Big Easy Liquid to Powder SPF 35 Foundation, which was good but far too dark for me (they have a terrible shade selection). The bottle is also 2.5 years old and almost empty – it was time for that to go. The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation is another over 2 year old foundation that I’ve barely used, so there really was no point in holding onto it. Another sort of sad thing that may be controversial, is that I’m getting rid of all my Bite Beauty lip products because even though they are lovely in colour and texture, I just can’t take the scent/taste. I can’t really explain it but something about these just doesn’t sit well with me, so bye-bye Bite. Other products that have basically dried out are my two Maybelline Color Tattoos and various liquid lip products.

All in all I’m quite happy with the items I’ve used up and decided to throw away – it was time and I also hope to continue on this trend this year. What products have you used up in the past year and is this something you’ve committed to doing?