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?

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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 the  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?

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?

2016 Favourites: Skincare

Skincare is something that will be my most researched and intensely-loved category of cosmetics – it’s my original obsession and where I consistently sink the most money on that unending quest for perfect skin. Last year’s favourites are still loves but I found a few new things this year that really changed my skin for the better.

The first is something I’ve gone through multiple bottles of (..three, I believe), and will repurchase when my current daytime serum runs out. That is the Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment. Something about this stuff just works. It’s not a miracle product, nor does it do anything on really large, cystic acne, but it just helps with the overall appearance and clarity of my skin, and it sits really beautifully under makeup. As an added bonus, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – I will be forever repurchasing this stuff until they stop making it (hopefully that’s never). Another treatment that has just been great is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, which is aimed at clarifying and detoxifying the skin. I add a drop or two to my nighttime moisturizer every night and it really helps to make my skin both plumper and brighter. This is a pricey little bottle, but it’ll probably last me forever!

Two face masks I’ve been loving are the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, which gets rid of dead skin and clarifies, and the GlamGlow Supercleanse Daily Treatment Cleanser. I know the latter is not actually supposed to be used as a mask, but I use it as a low-budget version of the mask, and it works great – it clarifies and gets rid of the gunk in pores while also leaving the skin soft and smooth. To remove makeup, I’ve been loving the Sephora Collection Supreme Cleansing Oil – it’s just the best and not a bad price point at all.

For something a bit more on the random side, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with the Ombra Spa Deo Roll-On, which might be TMI but everyone needs deodorant, right? This stuff is aluminum free and smells quite nice without being overpowering. I do prefer the Mild over the Sport version, by the way. And lastly, the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Lip Butters are fantastic. This is a natural, Canadian brand that I think is only available in stores in Alberta, but one can order online from all over the place. The one pictured above is a limited edition Vanilla Candy Cane flavour but I have tried a few other ones and they’re all great for keeping the lips nice and hydrated.

What have your favourite skincare products of 2016 been and what would you recommend?

The Collective Autumn/Winter Haul


Ahh, fall. It’s the time of year when there are sales and deals galore. Parts of this post are a bit late due to the annual Sephora 20% off sale being over a month ago, but there were so many other beauty bits I bought in November/early December that I figured I’d cram them all into one post.

Of course the biggest deal of them all is the Sephora VIB sale – everyone knows about it by now and we all eagerly anticipate it, making lists weeks in advance and sussing out the best items to buy during this time. You’ll know by now that 2016 was supposed to be a year of purging and buying only what was necessary for me, so I didn’t go as crazy at Sephora as I could have this year. I only bought items I was running out of and really needed. First up is the Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum, which I’ve been dying to try for ages now but was always sold out. I use this in the mornings and so far it’s been working out decently well. It’s got a thicker, creamy consistency that I like for cold weather days as it’s not too drying. I had also run out of eye cream months ago and was surviving off samples, so I finally picked up the Ole Henriksen Fresh Start Eye Cream, which comes in a giant 1 oz pot, and I use morning and night. It’s a good, solid eye cream that I had used about 4 years ago, but decided to go back to. I’m always needing a makeup remover, and I decided to buy another bottle of the Sephora Collection Supreme Cleansing Oil, which works a real treat in removing everything from your face. Lastly, the one item I bought as a treat to myself was the Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadow in Scandal, which is described as a ‘bright copper’. I am actually going to return this as the colour ended up being much darker and rustier than I thought – silly me for not looking up skin swatches first. I also redeemed several hundred points for various gifts, including this one, as I’ve wanted to try the cleanser in there for a while.

A few weeks later, Shoppers Drug Mart had an epic Spend Your Points event, whereby the points that you collect are suddenly worth more $-wise for one weekend. I needed a night-time serum as well, having run out of that, and first on my list was the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, which I haven’t used long enough to see any changes in my skin, but hasn’t done anything bad so far. I was also out of daytime moisturizer, so I picked up the Bioderma Sebium Shine-Control Moisturizer. I’ve always been curious about Bioderma’s other products and this one looked good, and reasonably priced (around $20) to me. I will say that in these colder months I might use it more as a primer rather than a moisturizer. I also snagged a Benefit Gimme Brow in the shade 5, which is a brow gel I have always wanted to try but could never justify spending $30 on. But since I got it for free…

Shortly after the Shoppers haul, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals were all over the place. In the last few years some of the deals have managed to make their way north of the border, despite the fact that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in November. Either way, I was very excited and feeling entirely too spendy, so I went to the Tarte website, where they were selling all of their foundations for $25. I couldn’t resist, so I picked up an Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in the shade Light-Medium Neutral, which normally retails for $47, so was basically 50% off. I have been dying to try this foundation, as it has gotten rave reviews not only on the internet, but from friends of mine. The rest of the Tarte site also had 25% off at the time and to get free shipping I had to spend $75, so naturally I picked up the matching Airbuki Brush and my holy grail Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium. I have to say that after I ran out of my first one and decided to replace it with a cheaper alternative, it’s just not the same! So I am happy to have the Tarte corrector back in my life. They also included a free concealer brush in the order, which is a great size for travelling.

Lastly, because Sephora is all knowing and somewhat evil (not really), they sent out a $25 off $50 coupon for everyone who reached VIB Rouge by a certain date. That’s half off, so of course me and my lack of self-control couldn’t resist. I popped into my local store and picked up the Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion. I’ve always wanted to try more products from the Umbrian Clay range since I love the treatment bar so much. It’s also $50 on the dot so I got exactly 50% off. I was also in luck since when I went to pay they had as a 100-point perk a mini of the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner, which a co-worker of mine has been raving about, but I couldn’t justify spending $69 on to try. I will be giving this a good go over the Christmas season to see if it really makes a difference in my skin.

Whew – that’s a lot of stuff and hopefully I won’t be buying too many things any time soon. What did you pick up in the recent sales, and what is your favourite item?

Sephora Favorites – Trending: Beauty’s Most Coveted

Holiday beauty sets are everywhere it seems – and it also seems like more and more brands release more and more sets each year! Sephora Favorites is one of the best at putting together great brands and products in various themes, and I’ve always drooled over them, but never had the wherewithal to actually buy one. When I saw the Trending: Beauty’s Most Coveted set online, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately I waffled for ages and it sold out online quite quickly. However, I managed to find it in a physical store – so even though it might be annoying for me to post about something that did sell out a while ago, it’s worth checking your local Sephora(s) for the set. While I can no longer link the set at Sephora, check out Temptalia’s itemized description and pictures here.

Generally speaking, what makes me so hesitant about buying sets, and palettes/kits in general, is that I want to make sure I will use every single item or colour in a set. Sure, it’s good value for money to get a palette or set, but if you’re only going to use a fraction of the product, then what is the point? Which is why I wavered a bit with this one – two products were giving me pause despite the fact that the price tag ($90 CAD) were well worth the other products in the kit. I have since given them away to a friend – the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 714 and the Estee Edit Kohl Shadowstick. I have nothing against the lipstick, but I already own so many reds that I wasn’t sure what I’d do with another one, and I just can’t wear kohl eyeliner with my oily face.

The actual value of this set is insane – there are a ton of full-sized products and the minis are deluxe sized. Really, what I was after was the Foreo Luna Play, which by itself retails for $49, because I really wanted to try the Foreo without shelling out the full $200. I haven’t used it a ton, but it definitely works well – I’d say it’s quite gentle compared to the Clarisonic. My only gripe is that it’s exceptionally small – no more than 1.5-2 inches in diameter.

The other no-brainer products I was after in the set were the Beautyblender nude (you can always use another beautyblender), and the Kat Von D Eyeliner in Trooper, which I am currently running out of, so buying the set was quite timely. I also wasn’t about to complain about having minis of the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment (about $20 worth), and NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Custard, which are perfect for traveling.

I recently went on a short trip and actually brought a few of the mini items in the set with  me, including the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, which is my new favourite for under the eyes, the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Marine Boosting Mist (perfect for the plane and smells delicious too!), and the adorable Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone. I’ve never tried any Becca highlighters, although it must be the  most popular line of highlighters in the world, from what I’m hearing on YouTube. I always thought Moonstone would be slightly too pale for me, but with a light hand, it works perfectly well for day time or night.

The last two products in the kit I’m not 100% sure about: the CoverFX Enhance Click Highlighter in Bubbly, which is a lovely cream highlighter that leans slightly pink, and the Benefit Ka-Brow! in Shade 3, which is a warm medium brown that actually does sort of work for me since my hair is warmer than my eyebrows, but I’m completely unused to using any kind of brow product other than a quick swipe of tinted brow gel. The tiny bottle is also very hard to work with – product doesn’t come out of it easily.

Either way, I’m very pleased with this set and will be working my way through the products in the next year. Hopefully it’s still available at Sephora stores – what is your favourite holiday kit for 2016?

More New Discoveries

The beauty lover’s life – it’s a constant hunt and chase for better products, cheaper alternatives, colour dupes, etc. “But aren’t you on a no buy this year?” Absolutely. But I’ve been using products up like crazy, so when it came time to replace them, it was no surprise that I found three more alternatives to products that have become staples in my beauty routine.

I previously posted about the Yes to Grapefruits Scrub, which I really like but the consistency of the scrub is quite watery, so it tends to dribble out of the tube quite a bit, which I’m not crazy about. So I decided to try a different scrub in the line – the Yes to Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub for Combination Skin, which is a creamier, thicker formula with smaller particles – it’s a great scrub and the creaminess will be great going into the fall. I am really enjoying the Yes to! line, and am looking forward to trying more from the line.

Makeup remover is something I run out of frequently, and after having gone through several bottles of the same kind, I decided to try the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, which is an alright price ($19 CAD for 6.4 oz). I have been pleasantly surprised, as it works the best out of all the oils I’ve tried, and a major plus – it doesn’t sting my eyes or leave a weird film. The only complaint I have is that it smells kind of like chemicals and it often gets in the mouth, which is very unpleasant. But I would definitely repurchase this as it takes off all my waterproof eye makeup with hardly any effort.

Lastly, I’ve gone on and on before about the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which I’ve gone through like crazy. I’ve been without for a while and not really loving the other alternative night creams I was pulling out of my stash, so when I was in the Korean grocery store last month, I picked up the Missha Near Skin Water Sleeping Mask, which I can only assume is a copycat version of the Laneige – it’s the same colour and a similar consistency. It doesn’t sink into the skin quite as well, but it’s been great so far and it’s a few dollars cheaper.

All in all it’s been a good month for new skincare finds. Have you tried any of these products and what are your recent skincare faves?