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?


2016 Un-Favourites

It’s the third and last post in my 2016 ‘Favourites’ series and we’ve finally come down to the few products that I really disliked or couldn’t get to work for me this past year. I don’t think I have any overly controversial products this time around, aside from maybe the Too Faced Better than Sex Waterproof Mascara. I’ve mentioned this before, but on my oily eyelids, it never stood a chance – there are smudges and smears everywhere, unfortunately. The NYX Proof It! Waterproof Mascara Top Coat did not help with this at all – it left white streaks on my eyelashes, and also did not make my mascara any less smudgy. If you’re looking for a waterproof top coat, I’d suggest checking out the Bare Minerals offering.

Another disappointment for me from NYX was the Dark Circle Concealer Corrector, which I have in the shade Light. I had been looking for a dupe for the Tarte Corrector, which is quite expensive, so when I found this little guy in the store, at only a third of the price of the Tarte, I figured I should give it a go. Shade-wise, the products are basically dupes. However, the similarities end there. The NYX corrector has a very light, oily texture, which I can’t really describe, but when I stick my finger in the pot, it kind of slides around and doesn’t pick up that much product. Whereas the Tarte one is more of a thick, gel-like consistency and is packed with pigment. I find that the NYX corrector on its own isn’t enough – I need to use a concealer over it. It also creases like crazy, so setting with a loose powder is definitely required.

One product that was a major fail for me was the L’Oreal Colour Riche La Lacque Lip Colour, which honestly, is fine as far as colour, pigmentation and application. I even like that it comes in a skinny pen form. But the scent of this product is so overwhelmingly bad that I can’t wear it. I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of scented products, especially lipsticks, because it can get in your mouth and you end up tasting the chemicals. The scent of this is doubly bad because it is both floral and chemical – a nasty combo that I can’t figure out at all. Just smelling it makes me feel kind of sick, much less applying the stuff all over my mouth.

My two last fails are from Quo, which is Shoppers Drug Mart’s own brand. Their fan brush is the first one I’ve bought in my collection, and to be honest I don’t like it very much because it’s too wide and the bristles too spaced out as well – so it doesn’t really apply highlighter in any concentration (and I’m not even that big on highlighter!). I think they have since replaced this brush with a new one, which I might try out eventually. The other Quo product is the Solid Brush Cleanser – I’m always looking for more affordable solid brush cleansers and this one just didn’t cut it. It’s okay for brushes, although even that takes a lot of work, but it doesn’t clean my beautyblender at all. It’s also not that much cheaper than the options at Sephora, so I will simply stick to those and not repurchase the Quo variety.

What have your disappointing beauty products of 2016 been?

Sheer Spring Lips

As spring is finally here – despite the relatively cold weather in these parts, I’ve been inspired to dig to the back of my lipstick drawer and pull out some favourites that I only really tend to wear during the warmer months. Sheer lipsticks are some of the easiest to wear – you barely need a mirror, they’re moisturizing and they make your lips look nice and juicy. The majority of the ones I have tend to be on the pink or coral side, which is a nice transition into summer, since I find matte lips to mostly be too much work in the summer when my face is melting off. They’re also less sticky than lip gloss, so I really do love me some sheer lips.

On the pink side, some of my faves include the Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in the shade 20 Pink-Light. The idea behind these is that they have lip shades (Berry, Pink, Nude and Red) for Light, Light/Medium and Medium skin tones, so that it takes the guesswork out for you. I most definitely tend more to the Light/Medium side of things, but this sheer pink shade is so lovely I think anyone can really get away with wearing it. It’s cool-toned without being too bubblegum, and the formula is super sheer and moisturizing so it’s comfortable to wear all day. Next is the Bite Beauty Lush Lip Kiss in the shade Juice, which is a great mid-tone pink and is intended to tint the lips while delivering a ton of moisturizing elements. A bit different is TheBalm’s Stainic, which I received a mini of in a BirchBox. It comes out feeling like jelly, and then dries down to a thin, comfortable stain on the lips. Last, and certainly not least, is the Maybelline Color Whisper in Pin Up Peach, which is basically just a warm-toned pink that feels somewhere between a lip balm and lipstick.

For the corals, I have another great Maybelline Color Whisper in Coral Ambition, which quite light but looks great with a tan. Another drugstore favourite is the Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya – pictured is my second tube of the stuff because I love it so much. It’s the perfect coral for most skin tones. If you want to go full orange, however, the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 04 Orange is great. It looks intimidating in the tube, but because it’s so sheer, and depending on your natural lip colour, it ends up looking peachy-coral anyway.

What are your favourite spring lip colours?

The Mini Makeup Purge and New Year’s Beauty Resolutions

In the spirit of entering the new year with a fresh start and outlook on life, including my beauty routine and purchasing habits (cough), I thought I’d enumerate a few things I will hopefully be sticking to faithfully into the new year.

1) Purge. It’s ridiculous how much stuff seems to accumulate, especially in my beauty drawers. Why do I have eight red lipsticks? Why do I hold onto a foundation I never use? What’s the point in having expired products lying around? I’ve seen a lot of makeup collection declutter videos on YouTube this year, and while my collection is nowhere near as large as some people who do beauty for a living, I thought it was high time that I had to get rid of some products, which are pictured above, many of which have separated and are looking/smelling pretty icky. I hope to continue doing this every few months so that I don’t have any expired products or things I won’t use lying around.

2) Use things up. It’s difficult to use up an entire product, especially when you have a few on the go and whatnot. I’ve resolved not to start using anything new unless I’ve used up a like product – one bronzer only, etc. Also, it’s so satisfying to use something up completely!

3) One in, one out. By this I mean, no more¬† buying things. I have a good friend who went on a fiscal fast in 2015, which meant no buying makeup/skincare/clothing/accessories unless something was finished and really needed to be replaced, I was inspired by her. It’s easy to get sucked into the advertising and constant pressure of buying things, and I’ll admit, I love having the choice. But do I really need 3 mascaras open at once? How about six eyeshadow palettes? Five gold cream eyeshadows? Unbelievable. I’ve gotten to the point where I have enough makeup to last a good while, so I really don’t need to buy anything unless I run out. For example, I only have one liquid eyeliner on the go that I use daily. I’ll replace that, but outside of that, I will be trying very hard not to buy multiples of anything I already have in any given category.

What are your beauty goals for 2016?

2015 Un-Favourites: Best of the Worst

The title of this post may not be entirely accurate – but each year I do try quite a few new products, so it’s inevitable that I’ll have some that don’t work out for me. I’ve mentioned a couple in earlier posts, but I thought I’d do a final round-up of the products that disappointed me this year, for various reasons.

First up is the Tony Moly Lip Balm in Apple, which I purchased at a local Korean market after hearing rave reviews about the stuff. However, I really don’t think I’ll be able to get through the tub. It has a thin, unappealing texture, and the scent of it is chemical-ly and overwhelming, and somehow it always manages to get into my mouth – bleh! On top of it all, it doesn’t really do anything and just sits on the lips. I only use this when I’m absolutely desperate.

Next, I have a couple of face products – the CoverFX Custom Cover Drops ushered in a whole new obsession with ‘serum foundations’ and while I may try others in the future, I cannot stand this stuff. The colour is way off – I got one of the N shades, which is supposed to be neutral, but it’s basically bright yellow. Also, no matter how you buff or brush it in, it seems to sit on top of the skin and cling to things you don’t want it clinging to. Yup. I’m going to be passing on this one. Next was not quite as extreme of a disappointment – the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in the shade Medium-Light Neutral. On the positive side, this concealer is both weightless and provides complete coverage, so it definitely lives up to its name. In fact, I liked its texture so much I had been planning to replace my Nars concealer with this one. However, there is one major problem. In the tube, and on first application, it appears to match my skin tone. In a few minutes though, it quickly oxidizes and turns much darker, so it appears that I have brown spots all over my skin – not cute. Of course the solution would be to try a lighter shade, but after testing and swatching and waiting a bit in store, I think both the ‘light’ options are too light. So that sucks, but I’ll be using it in the summer time when I’m more tan.

For the eyes, I’ve got a bit of a shocker – the MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, everyone’s favourite black gel liner. I was fortunate enough to be gifted this from a friend who couldn’t make use of it. I was super excited as I’d heard loads and have never really found a gel-eyeliner-in-a-pot that I’ve liked. It applies smoothly and jet black, but there’s a major smudging problem on me, even with primer. So I can’t wear it and I can’t be bothered to set it, etc., when I have perfectly long lasting options like any of the liquid liners I’ve mentioned over and over again on this blog. So that was very sad. The other major disappointment for me this year was the hugely overpriced Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in Volver. I reviewed this a few months ago and it was patchy and not long-wearing at all, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – perhaps reserve it for occasions I know I won’t be wearing makeup for too long.

Lastly is a stand-in for an entire line – the whole line of Sephora Formula X Nail Polishes has been a huge let-down for me. I’ve got a couple of them and while they apply nicely at first, they chip in about 30 seconds after they dry, so definitely not worth the money – sad as they canned the Sephora by OPI line and replaced it with Formula X. It’s a shame, since they have such a lovely range of colours and finishes, but I can’t justify spending the money on these polishes – better to go to the drugstore.

Welp, that concludes my 2015 wrap-up of products – hope that wasn’t too negative, although I’m sure that the products mentioned above worked great for some people.

What were your biggest makeup disappointments of 2015?