Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Empties and Tosses #15 // June 2015

Another not so great month in empties... but a finished product is a finished product. 
I'll have to work on my emptying prowess for next month. 

Here's my rating scale: 
(>'-')> <('-'<) ^(' - ')^ // worthy of dance party (repurchase)   
^u^ ^u^  // pretty great (maybe repurchase) 
-_- // indifference (will not repurchase) 

Monday, June 29, 2015

NEW IN: P&G Beauty (CoverGirl, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Olay) #BeautyUnited

Last week,  I had the pleasure of attending another Beauty United (aka P&G Beauty blogger program) at Her Majesty's Pleasure (cafe/boutique/bar/spa). The program is in its third year and I've had the amazing opportunity of participating since the very beginning. At the end of the event, attendees received a HUGE goodie bag with some of the newest P&G Beauty launches. Below is what was inside! Let me know if you'd like to see something reviewed. Also, scroll to the bottom for a few event photos (courtesy of P&G). 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bioderma Sensibio Lait 3-in-1 Cleansing Milk & Sensibio H20 and Hydrabio H20 Micellar Solutions

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution was the first of its kind that I had ever tried and my first foray into French “pharmacie” drugstore skincare (soon after I tried La Roche Posay, Jouviance, Vichy). Bioderma is fragrance-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic with 11 different lines catering to specific skin types and needs (Sensibio = for sensitive skin, Hydrabio = sensitive/dehydrated skin). While my oily skin is neither sensitive nor dehydrated, I do have an extremely sensitive eye area and I’d rather be gentle to my skin than use something stripping. 

I’ve gone through at least 5 bottles of Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution ($19.95 for 250mL, see my empties) and have recently been testing out the Hydrabio H20 Micellar Solution ($18,95 for 250mL) and the Sensibio Lait 3-in-1 Cleansing Milk ($18.95 for 250mL) which are new (to the drugstore and to me!). 

The Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Milk 3-in-1 is meant to act as (1) a cleansing milk (2) a toning lotion (3) an eye makeup remover. It contains something called a "Tolerdine patented complex" that helps increase the skin's tolerance. 

Bioderma Sensibio H20 is a micellar water that is meant to cleanse, remove makeup and soothe and prevent irritation. It's a lot like the Cleansing Milk, just in a different kind of liquid. 

Bioderma Hydrabio H20 is similar to Sensibio H20 with the added benefit of moisturizing and decongesting (according to Bioderma). 

While the claims are slightly different, all three products do the same thing for my face – gently yet effectively cleanse and remove face and eye makeup without the need to double cleanse (though I always do). The Sensibio Lait is the only one that’s different for me. It’s (obviously, as the name states) much thicker than the Micellar Solutions (aka waters), so when I apply it to my face and then wipe it around, it leaves a slightly sticky residue. For this reason, I prefer the Hydrabio and Sensibio H20 Micellar Solutions over the milk. The Hydrabio and Sensibio H20 Micellar Solutions are on par and appear to accomplish the same things with the same feeling (aka no residue) for my skin. 

Are you a fan of Bioderma skincare? 

End note: I’ve also tried the Sebium H20 Micellar Solution, which essentially works the same as the Sensibio H20 and Hydrabio H20 but it has a scent that bothers my eyes. I’m glad the Sensibio and Hydrabio H20 Micellar Solutions don’t!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

L'Oreal Infallable Pro-Matte Foundation in 107 Fresh Beige

It’s been a while since I’ve tested out a drugstore foundation. I’ve read and watched several reviews – all saying nothing but amazing things about the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation (~$15). I received the shade 107 Fresh Beige from Liz of Stay Gorgeous (she kindly passing it onbecause the colour was too yellow for her). So, I put the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in 107 Fresh Beige to the test. 

L’Oreal says the Pro-matte is “longwear without the compromise”, a demi-matte finish that absorbs excess oil and shine without looking heavy or cakey. In terms of coverage, finish and longevity, the claims are spot on with performance. The L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is quite high in coverage for its very lightweight texture. Using a sponge, I get medium coverage and with a couple layers, it’s a fuller coverage look. The demi-matte, not oily but not flat finish reminds me of the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Plus Foundation (which is my HG for special occasions), however, the Mat Velvet Plus feels a more weighty on the skin and requires a denser brush to apply. Also, the L’Oreal Pro-Matte lasts 8 hours before my oiliness peeps through. 

The L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is everything I could ask for in terms of coverage, longevity, and finish. It’s downfall is the colour. As aforementioned, I got this from Liz, who let me know the colour was too yellow for her. I think I’m pretty yellow-toned, so I thought that 107 Fresh Beige would be a perfect match. It’s not. It’s ever so slightly too yellow for me. A close shade match to 107 Fresh Beige is Benefit’s Oxygen WOW Foundation in All the Rage Beige, which I mix with pinker toned foundations. On the bright side, summer’s just begun and I do get a little yellower as I tan. So, with any luck, this will be the perfect match come mid-July. 

The foundation matching struggle is real. 

Have you tried the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation? 

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Disappointing Products #1

I don't mean to be a negative Nancy, but the pile of "products I don't really like" in my room was kind of big. I'm quite picky with skincare, which would explain why everything here is skin-related. 

NAIR Cire Divine No Strip Wax  // I followed the directions to a T. After spreading the wax on my legs and ripping it off... it hadn't taken off any of my hair. 

Vichy Idealia Life Serum and Skin Sleep // I love the idea of a serum/sleeping mask combo and had been looking forward to testing these out. I applied both on my skin and all seemed good and well. Twenty minutes later... an uncomfortable burning sensation that didn't go away. I washed both off but the feeling didn't dissipate until the next morning. My skin is typically non-sensitive and quite resilient to products, so I'm a afraid to use these again. 

Arbonne Lifting and Contouring Eye Cream // Thought I'd get a head start on the anti-aging train but this little eye cream made the inner corners of my eyes incredibly dry. 

Cetaphil Derma Control Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 // I don't ever apply moisturizer to my eyes but after putting this on my face, my eyes were watering.

Amie Naturally Kind 2-in-1 Cleanser & Toner // Perhaps this stuff was a little too gentle. I didn't feel like it removed my makeup thoroughly. 

Not to say that the products are terrible, they just didn't work for me. Who knows... They might work for you. 

Have you been disappointed in anything lately? 

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Boho Chic Collection // Fall 2015

Last week was the Sally Hansen Tribal Vibe collection and this week it's the Boho Chic! Here are swatches of the new Sally Hansen Boho Chic collection of Miracle Gel polishes ($11.95 each) for Fall 2015. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fragrance for My Father // At the Barber's Replica by Maison Martin Margiela

My Dad wears AXE so I thought he would appreciate the upgrade. I received REPLICA At the Barber’s by Maison Martin Margiela last month and decided to give it to my Dad (I don’t count this as a Father’s Day gift because I received it as a press sample…my gift is in daughterly love). Anyways, HUGE upgrade. At the Barber’s is eons better smelling (and better looking) than the other stuff. 

The “REPLICA” collection features scents crafted to evoke specific moments, periods, and places in time. There are two men’s fragrances (At the Barber’s and Jazz Club) and 6 women’s fragrances (Beach WalkTea EscapeFlower Market,Funfair EveningLazy Sunday Morning and Promenade at the Gardens). Last month, I had the unique pleasure of testing them all, along with numerous L’Oreal Luxe fragrances, at an Olfactory Workshop lead by Marie Duron, L’Oreal’s Director of Perfume Development.  My personal favourites in the “REPLICA” line are Funfair Evening and Jazz Club, as I prefer warm, spicy, enveloping caramel scents to the brighter, cleaner notes of At the Barber’s. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Natural Lips & Cheeks with Lise Watier Rivages // Blush Fondant Supreme + Magic Lip Enhancer

Summer makeup can go one of two ways. Either it's the neons and brights or the subtle neutrals. Today, it's neutral, natural makeup with two pieces from the Lise Watier Rivages Collection for Summer 2015. The Lise Watier Blush Fondant Supreme in Sand ($30, limited edition) and the Lise Watier Magic Lip Enhancer ($24) are natural lips and cheeks made easy. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

essence 3D Eyeshadows in Irresistible Vanilla Latte and Irresistible Midnight Date

Is it just me or do the essence 3D Eyeshadows ($3.99 each) bear an uncanny resemblance to the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes?

While the wavy textured eyeshadows might look similar, the essence 3D eyeshadows are in no way dupes for Hourglasses latest eyeshadow launches. essence is about 120391283091283 times less expensive, and the texture isn't quite as finely milled. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Stretch Mascara (+ international giveaway!)

First there was the Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash, then there was the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant, and now there's the Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara ($29). Just launched, I had a sneak peek of the latest mascara at the MUFE Spring 2015 Preview. It's just become available at Sephora and MUFE Boutiques. 

So what's so special about the Smoky Stretch Mascara? Well, according to MUFE, similar to the Smoky Lash and Smoky Extravagant mascara, it's meant to be smudge-proof and fast drying. What's new and different is that it contains Locust Tree Alginate Jelly that supposedly defines and separates lashes and Silk Protein to elongate and volumize. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Tribal Vibe Collection // Fall 2015

About a year ago, Sally Hansen released their *revolutionary* Miracle Gel polishes - a line that has the look of a gel polish that cures in natural light. This July 2015, Sally Hansen is launching a new and improved Miracle Gel 2X Volume Top Coat and a boatload of 13 new Miracle Gel polish colours to add to the existing line of 47 ($11.95 each). Today...swatches of the Sally Hansen Tribal Vibe Collection. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

ONE IN ONE OUT: Miracle 10 Skincare + Guerlain Blanc De Perle Range

Stick to a single skincare regimen until I run out. That was my skincare resolution at the beginning of the year. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to try so many different ranges, but it gets overwhelming and impossible to try 3 different brands' regimens simultaneously. After the past 6 months, I've come to realize clear that good skin comes from consistency, healthy eating, and listening to my skin's needs (in all honesty, the state of my skin is much more important to me than spitting out a crapload of haphazardly written reviews). 

So from January to the beginning of June my regular morning/night routine consisted of all Miracle 10 products. I still used different brands and products for various face masks, once a week treatments,  intensive moisturizing treatments and my in-shower face scrub. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lise Watier Palette Rivages Eyeshadows

Another neutral eyeshadow palette? YES. ANOTHER ONE. But this one's special... and no, it's not just the packaging. I've discovered that the Lise Watier Pallete Rivages Eyeshadows from the Lise Watier Summer 2015 Rivages (aka coast/shore en Francais) is quite unique. 

Before I get to the shadows, let's take a moment to ooh and ahh at the pearly shell-inspired packaging that glimmers pink and aqua rainbows in the right light. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo in Light and Contour Brush

These days, contouring is STILL all the rage. Different from most brands, stila has released a CREAM contour duo (instead of a powder). I've been trying to make myself look more sculpted with the  stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo ($52) plus the Custom Contour Brush. 

There are three shade options of the Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo - light, medium and dark. Kaci Harabedian (stila, Executive Director International Sales) matched me to Light... which seems to be just right. The highlight shade actually seems darker than what I'm used to but it's still lighter than my skintone. As for the contour, it's quite warm/orangey. I'm very yellowy, so this works for me as a contour OR bronzer but if you're cooler-toned then beware. 

The cream texture is really, really nice. It's smooth, soft, and easy to blend. If you apply to much product, blending motions could quite possibly make the product disappear from your face. Stila says that the product has imperfection-blurring properties and the texture of the Shape and Shade Duo kind of reminds me of what I'd want to feel from a cream foundation (though the contour duo has no coverage). Lasting power is ~6-7 hours which is decent, especially for a cream product. Note that it's a cream-to-powder formulation so it's matte and not slippy on the face. 

As for the brush, it's super dense (basically perfection for blending out the Contour Duo). The large side fits snugly underneath my cheekbone, however I find the smaller side a little weird to use because all the weight is distributed to the larger side. While the brush is nice, I find dual ended items annoying to store. Plus, the Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo blends just fine with fingertips. 

The Stila Shape & Shade Custom Contour is a beautiful product but to be honest, I haven't been reaching for it. I'm not entirely into the whole mega instragram contour thing. That being said, it's a great matte bronze/highlight with amazing blendability. 

Do you have a favourite cream contour? 
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MAC Huggable Lipcolour in Play It Soft

The new MAC Huggable Lipcolours ($24) are huggable, kissable and loveable. Like the In Extra Dimension Eyeshadows the MAC Huggable Lipcolours are back by popular demand (though the huggables are limited edition). 

So what does "huggable" mean? According to MAC, the Huggable Lipcolour is inspired by Asian trends - a lipstick formulation that "hugs" (sculpts) the lips with a lasting, glossy finish. There are 12 shades in the limited edition line. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

essence Galaxy Flakes Effect Nail Polish in Rock My World

Happy #manimonday. I'll make this quick by saying...YES, YES, YES. I LOVE THIS NAIL POLISH. It's the essence Galaxy Flakes Effect Nail Polish in Rock My World ($3.49, exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart) and holy cow is it beautiful. As a lover of essence's regular polish line, I was happy to learn that essence has 8 different effect nail polishes including denim, glitter jewels, polka dots, and sugar. So fun! 

It's a textured, lilac topcoat with bits of iridescent flakies and silver sparkles. Above I've paired it with  Essie's "Using My Maiden Name". Match made in heaven, right? The only downside is that it's a b*ch and a half to remove. 

What nail polish have you been loving lately? 
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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lise Watier Teint Lumiere Luminous Foundation in 05

Oddly enough, no other types of beauty launches get me more excited than foundations. Lately, the trend in foundations has been the "second skin" look and this Spring, Lise Watier launched its new Teint Lumiere Luminous Foundation Broad Spectrum Protection SPF 15 ($39). Lise Watier says that it is infused with a Diamond  Lumiere Complex of light reflective pigments that blends into the skin to even out skin tone and bring radiance. The concept is quite similar to that of the Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow, as the pigments are meant to alter the way light reflects when it hits the face. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

essence Longlasting Lipsticks in Natural Beauty, Barely There & I Am Yours

You can't beat lipsticks $3.49, especially when they're actually really good. I received a few of the the essence Longlasting Lipsticks (exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart) at an essence event. There are a few new shades being launched for Spring/Summer 2015, but the only new one shown here is I Am Yours. 

The essence Longlasting Lipsticks are your one-swipe type of pigmented. They have a creamy finish and last about 4 hours on my lips with eating and drinking. Given the price, I don't find them to be at all drying, just really smooth. I wouldn't go as far as saying that they're hydrating, but they're very comfortable on the lips and don't exaggerate lip lines or dry areas. Since all three of these colours are variations on a pink/nude/mauve, they're perfect for everyday at the office. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

FOOD: Ontario Southwest City Fare // #OSWCityFare #OSWPourAway #OSWDigIn

With beer, wine, cider, food and live music at Wychwood Barns, you can't really go wrong. Last weekend I attended the first Ontario Southwest City Fare hosted by the iYellow Wine Club, a pop up event featuring food and drink from restaurants, breweries and more, all from the region of Southwestern Ontario spanning South Cayuga to London to Chatham-Kent to Windsor. The iYellow Wind Club provided everyone a wine glass, as well as a nifty contraption of a plate (with a hole to hold the wine glass) and we walked around, picking at the 80+ food/beverage items to try. 

I took two guests (my parents)... because I'm cool like that, my dad is a self-proclaimed 'foodie', the parents are kind of funny when they've had a few glasses of wine and beer, plus they graciously provide the internet that I use to upload my mass amounts of blog photos. Speaking of blog photos, I took quite a few at #OSWCityFare... 

trout crudo with trout chicaron // sixthirtynine.com

Mary Kay at Play Lip & Cheek Sticks in Peach Pop and Razzleberry

New season = new, fun things from the Mary Kay At Play Collection. The At Play collection seems to be the younger, edgier side of Mary Kay. The Mary Kay Lip & Cheek Stick ($12 each, available May 16th) colourful duos for a "glowing blush and picture-perfect pout".

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Empties & Tosses #14 // May 2015

A few things I finished in the month of May...

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Face Gel & Tinted Leg Mist

My neck and body have gone on a vacation, while my face has been living in Antarctica. Thus, I've come to the realization that I should probably take a break from my Asian "whitening" skincare products, as there is now a massive difference between the colour of my face and the colour of my neck and body. What's been helping me out? The Body Shop Honey Bronze Face Gel ($16). And while my legs are darker than my face, they're still a little pasty-looking from winter so The Body Shop Tinted Leg Mist ($20) has been helping me get my Summer glow on. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Unpretty Rapstar (언프리티 랩스타) Cheetah (김치타) Inspired Make Up Look

While I might not look it, my favourite genres of music are hip hop and rap. My boyfriend got me hooked on a Korean reality/music TV show called “Unpretty Rapstar” (언프리티 랩스타), which features 9 female musicians rap battling for tracks with a renowned producer. Prior to watching the show, I had only been exposed to the upbeat girly-girl K-pop thing (and Psy). Unpretty Rapstar was a tangent from "normal" k-pop, as the contestants on the show masterfully strung phrases of both Korean and English together.

Enjoying the music was one thing but I also took notice of the beauty looks on the show. A majority of the 9 contestants on the show subscribe to the stereotypical Korean beauty look - puppy dog (downwards sloping) eyeliner, ombre stained lips, radiant skin, wispy false lashes. But one conetstant’s look (along with her stage presence and rap prowess) stood out to me most. Thick liner, dewy/wet skin, sculpted brows, contouring and a bold lipstick, topped off with a heavy band of false lashes CHEETAH (김치타) . In addition to her fierce makeup and nails, her wardrobe is also badass. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MAC In Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Smoky Mauve

The MAC In Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Smoky Mauve ($24CAD/$20USD) deserves boatloads of praise. After the 2013 release of the MAC In Extra Dimension Collection (limited edition), it's easy to understand why MAC has re-released the In Extra Dimension Eye Shadows as a permanent range. With 18 shades of eyeshadow, the Prep and Prime 24HR Extend Eye Base, the 233 Split Fibre Eye Shadow Brush and the 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush, this collection is sure to please any eye makeup lover. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Neon and Matte - Ceramic Glaze Nail Polish in Shell Me About It

Matte nail polish and matte lipstick colours in bright shades are kind of similar. The matte texture tones it down and keeps it from looking over the top. Here's something interesting - a nail polish that's neon AND matte. It's Ceramic Glaze's Shell Me About It ($10.99, exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart), a bright cool-toned pink. 

Lately, I've been loving wearing this. It's super bright and the matte texture makes it a bit more interesting than my other bright-coloured polishes. But here's the catch, the polish lasts only 3 days on my fingertips. Unfortunately, adding a top coat changes the finish, so I've always got to reapply or switch my nail colour up mid-week. 

What do you think of matte neon nail polishes? 

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