2017 Un-Favourites

2017 was a good year in terms of products bought and tried – not only was I trying not to buy too many unnecessary things, but I think most of the new items I tried worked out really well. Of course there will always be duds and this year there were really just three that disappointed.

I’ve mentioned the CoverFX Perfect Pencil before, and I still haven’t figured out how to use this properly. It is either an overpriced nude eyeliner, or a too-slippery and not very effective concealer. I tried to use it for spot concealing as well as cleaning up around my lips to clean up a line, but it’s not opaque enough for that. If anyone can explain to me how to use this, it would be great, since it wasn’t cheap!

Another odd product is the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 Setting Mist. I only have a mini, and I had high hopes because I generally enjoy Tarte products. However, I found this setting spray to be quite sticky and never really ‘set’ down, which I hate since I really hate anything that leaves my skin feeling tacky or moist. Of course I probably shouldn’t have been surprised because from what I understand, the Rainforest of the Sea range is really meant for dry skin, so in all honesty it’s probably great for that, but sadly not for me.

The last product I just couldn’t work with is the Body Shop’s Lightening Drops, which are good for the most part; they do lighten foundation without changing the texture or finish, but because they are slightly pink, they are meant to neutralize yellow tones. This is probably a good thing for those of you who don’t have yellow undertones in your skin, but for me it definitely isn’t what I want. I wish they had made a pure white formula and then had a separate pink one instead of combining the two. So this is definitely a very personal choice due to my skin tone but if you lean more on the cool side then this would definitely work for you.

What are your 2017 product regrets?

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2017 Makeup Favourites

In contrast to my skincare, my makeup routine changed quite a lot in the past year – I tried a lot of new products that I ended up falling in love with and now can’t imagine living without. To start off with, the Jouer Anti-Blemish Matte Primer was amazing. It’s the first product I have tried from the brand, and it did not disappoint. It fights blemishes but sits really nicely under makeup without feeling too slippy or strange. If it was easier to get a hold of Jouer products in Canada I would definitely repurchase in a heartbeat. My new foundation love this year has to be the Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation; it was a huge splurge, but is totally worth it – it has SPF 25, has a lovely demi-matte finish, and super high-coverage. It also stays all day – I wore it for around 20 hours the day of a friend’s wedding and it held up pretty darn well, with minimum flashback to boot. I wear the shade 4.5.

How can anyone’s makeup favourites not include the fabulous Tarte Shape Tape Concealer? Enough has been said about this concealer – it’s pigmented, blends like a dream, and sets itself under the eyes. What more could you ask for? When I did want to set this, and the rest of my face, I used one powder for most of the year – the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. This is a pricey little product, but works amazingly well and lasts forever. I found the best way to apply this was either with a damp beauty sponge or a powder puff to press it into the skin gently. An interesting find for me this year was the NYX Pro Foundation Mixer in the shade White. I’ve written a few times about how I struggle with foundations oxidizing on me or just turning darker, and I have found that this really helps to find the perfect shade for my skin. I mix a little bit in with my foundation and gradually add more as needed – it’s especially good when you’re trying to transition through the seasons and don’t want to buy a whole other bottle of a lighter or darker shade.

For eyes, I have found a new mascara that’s truly waterproof and sticks around all day without smudging or flaking – the Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara. It’s quite lengthening and probably not as thickening as I would like, but the fact that it stays on my lashes all day is already a small miracle. It also holds a curl and doesn’t get clumpy or gloopy. Its companion is the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, which I love. Even though my bottom lashes are quite short and sparse, applying a bit of this stuff really makes a difference and opens my eyes up a lot more than usual. It also makes application so much easier – regular sized mascara wands are just too messy in that area. The Colourpop Creme Gel Liner is another item I’ve added to my daily routine that I can’t live without. I smudge a bit into the outer half of my lower lash line, which helps define the eyes so much more. It also sticks around all day and the shade Overboard is perfect; it is a metallic brown that isn’t as harsh as a black but still manages to define the lower lash line. Lastly, I have been absolutely loving the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Bette, which is a lovely bronze colour. As a cream eyeshadow addict, the texture of this shadow is completely different to any other one I own – it’s a light whipped mousse that can be used as a light wash of colour, or built up to be more intense. Even though it’s metallic it can be blended into the crease for some subtle definition, or smudged into the lash line for a more intense look. I really enjoy this and it is totally worth the expensive price tag.

What were your favourite makeup items of 2017 and what would you recommend?

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?

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?

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?

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?