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?

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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?

A Few Things From Beautylish…

I’ve really been on a buying spree recently…………. I guess the effects of the whole no-buy last year hit me hard! Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things I picked up from Beautylish.com, which is one of my favourite online places to shop – they have good variety and carry brands that aren’t at Sephora. They also ship to Canada for free if one spends over $35, so it’s kind of great. Packages always come really quickly and nicely wrapped too, so I highly recommend ordering from there!

Jouer is a brand that isn’t really available in Canada, not that I’ve found, anyway, so I picked up two things from them – the Anti-Blemish Matte Primer, which I’ve heard good things about, and the Essential Lip Enhancer. Neither of these are overly exciting, but they’re solid products. The primer has a lovely lotion-y texture that sinks into the skin quite nicely, unlike those thick silicone primers that I hate. I haven’t used it long enough to tell whether it makes a difference with breakouts, but it does feel nice and keep me matte a bit longer than usual. The lip balm is meant to be a plumper – I don’t think it does much, nor is that something I’m looking for, but it is really soothing to put on dry, cracked lips. I really enjoy it and would repurchase.

Something else I’ve really been dying to try is the entire line from Charlotte Tilbury, but especially the cream eyeshadows. You know I have a slight problem when it comes to brown eyeshadows in cream form, so of course I had to grab one of the Eyes to Mesmerise in the shade Bette, which is an amazingly metallic golden brown. The texture is very light – kind of whipped, and the shadow goes on quite sheer, which is nice, because it can be built up but also used as a light wash of colour for everyday. It doesn’t crease on me and it lasts all day – I can see myself picking up other shades in the future…

The two makeup items I actually bought I’ve been a bit on the fence about because I’m just not sure what to make of them. The It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream in the shade Light is sort of a repurchase for me – I tried the a mini before but the colour was wrong. Light actually suits me perfectly right now. I wanted to get something with SPF for the summer but I find that this is too oily on me after a couple hours, regardless of how I prime/set. It’s a shame, but I will definitely continue to use this up. I also grabbed a Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in the shade Masochist, which is a deep fuchsia colour. I’m not a huge liquid lipstick user, but I was really curious to try the brand, despite all the online controversy, and I do like it – the texture is really nice, and it doesn’t dry out my lips the way other liquid lips do. But the applicator is huge and I find it a bit difficult to apply with precision. It also doesn’t dry down completely.

All in all I’m quite pleased with my haul and will continue to purchase from beautylish.com. What have you tried from there and what would you recommend?

A Few Loves…

On the heels of my last ‘meh’ post, I figured I’d follow with something a little more positive. Over the last few weeks/months, I’ve found a few products that I am absolutely in love with, and would repurchase over and over again if possible.

The first one is the Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub, which for some reason, they don’t sell here. I bought this in the UK and have been using it almost everyday since I came back. It’s an absolutely heavenly sugar scrub that smells exactly as described and leaves the skin really soft and smooth. If I could get my hands on this again, I would buy it 100x, and I don’t even normally like body scrubs. Please bring this product to Canada S&G……!!!

The next thing I’ve been super loving is the Benefit Gimme Brow in shade 5. This stuff has been on my wishlist FOREVER and I finally picked it up in a sale last fall and only cracked it open a few weeks ago because I ran out of my other brow gel. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I don’t use anything else in my brows other than tinted gel since that seems to do the trick – my brows aren’t overly sparse or anything so they just need a little help, and boy does this product ever help. The brush is tiny, and the gel has little fibres in it to make the brows appear fuller, and it doesn’t leave the hairs feeling crusty or tight. If this stuff wasn’t so darn expensive I’d be buying it all the time. Oh well, time to save up those Shoppers Optimum points…

And lastly, this has become an absolute handbag staple for me – the Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in the shade 215 Super Natural. I’ve always enjoyed this line of lip glosses, but I think Revlon has changed the shades up a bit from what they used to be (?). In any case, this is basically the most perfect pinky-nude gloss I can find for myself (at an affordable price point). It’s unscented, non-shimmery and doesn’t wash me out like a lot of nude glosses do. The texture is also perfect for a lip gloss – not too thick or sticky and feels moisturizing on the lips. I hope they don’t discontinue this colour ever!

What items have you been loving recently and what 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 Sephora Birthday Haul 2017

Seems like I have been buying a lot of things recently – though it’s also true that I have been running out of things left right and centre. My birthday was a few weeks ago and as per my usual tradition, I’ve been to Sephora to pick up a few items as well as the free birthday gift. To be honest, most of these buys are pretty boring – I had to get another Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser, and a Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar, both of which are staples in my day-to-day routine. I also ran out of nighttime moisturizer so it was time to go back to my old faithful, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – it’s honestly the best for my oily/combo skin, especially as spring and summer are approaching.

The one new thing I did spring for is the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, which I had used a sample of while away. It’s a wonderful milky cleanser with some beads to help with manual scrubbing without being too harsh. Skin feels soft and clean afterward, which is awesome. This is definitely not a cheap product, but the bottle is gigantic and will probably last a good while. I’m also quite excited about theĀ  minis I got, a 100 point perk of the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, as well as the Caudalie birthday set.

What have you picked up from Sephora recently and what would you recommend?