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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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?

Undereyes, Locked and Loaded

Undereye circles, the bane of my existence, other than the oily, blemish-prone skin I’ve been naturally blessed with. I’ve mentioned before that my dark circles are so bad that I regularly get asked if I’m either ill or tired when I’m wearing no makeup…. not fun. To counteract this, I have been using the Tarte CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium, which I have blogged about before. It’s the best and a perfect salmon colour for my skin tone. I’ve hit pan but it’ll still take a long time to use up. What I tend to do on the day-to-day is to apply foundation first, and then dip my fingertip into the Tarte and dab some under each eye. Then, I grab my beautyblender and blend it in properly. This counteracts the darkness I have going on in that area. While it does take a bit of work to blend due to its thick texture, the pigmentation is phenomenal and it doesn’t look too cakey.

If I want some added brightness for special occasions, I also paint on a few stripes of the Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in Nude, which adds a ton of brightness, but layers well because it’s a thinner consistency. Sometimes I will use just this one for a lower-key look, but combining the Maybelline and Tarte works so well it basically transforms my whole face.

A new tip that I picked up and have been using for the past couple months (and it TOTALLY WORKS) is to set the undereye area with some loose translucent powder, with the tip of a damp sponge rather than a brush. My powder of choice for now is the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, which works a treat and prevents any sort of creasing I get. This is an awesome trick and it works amazingly well for all day wear.

Have you tried this, and what are your tips for hiding undereye circles?

The Foundation Collection and Foundation Mixology

With all the whittling down and minimizing of my makeup collection, it is still slightly astounding that I have this many foundations. However, I’ve still operated off more or less a one-in-one-out system, as well as having various shades for different seasons, so here is the final collection for now:

One foundation I have kept around in my stash because of its colour rather than its formula is the CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Oil Free Foundation. As you’ll see in the swatches below (swatched in the same order as pictured above), it’s slightly too light and pinky for me, so it’s a great mixer for those that are either too dark and/or too yellow, which I have a problem with overall. Once it’s used up, I won’t be repurchasing, but if you have normal skin, this is probably a great foundation, as it does last a long time on the skin.

I won’t go on and on because I’ve already posted at length about the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in various places on this blog. Still loving it, will repurchase forever. The only downside is that I need to mix two shades to get the right colour. Next up is another one I’ve blogged about recently, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation, which is also quite good, but needs mixing with the CoverGirl due to the colour. Another far too yellow base is the CoverFX Custom Cover Drops in the shade N35, which is supposed to be neutral, but if that’s neutral, I don’t know what the warm shades are like in the line! I recently put the product into my 2015 un-favourites, but I do keep them around for experimentation purposes. I’ll likely never use it up, but for now, it’s sticking around in my collection.

Getting into my summer shades, there’s the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation, which I rarely use, to be honest. It doesn’t control oil as well as it claims, and while I like the colour of it, it does feel a bit heavy on the skin, so this is one I only pull out if I know I’ll be wearing makeup for a short amount of time.

Last, but not least is my almost used-up ultimate tan shade, which is the Benefit Better than BB Big Easy Foundation. I’ve been using this stuff for a long time and while I do love the formula, it’s obvious from the swatch below that the shade is far too dark for me, so I really need to get a good tan before I can use this.

Overall, it really seems I have a type – creamy, oil free foundations with medium coverage that come in a tube. What are your favourites and what drugstore/high-end products are must-haves in your collection?