Saturday, August 30, 2014

How I got on with Glamglow

Ok so I'm yet again super late to try the hype... I wasn't willing to shell out the full amount for the wonder product so many have talked about, so waited until I got it in a Topbox. Finally got around to trying it...

You've probably seen all over the blog-sphere by now what this looks like if you haven't yet tried it yourself... but in case not, this is what it looks like: mud-base with tea leaves on your face. You can visibly see the drying and you wash it off after it dries. 

My first impression when I cheeks felt as smooth as a baby's! And I have a baby at home to compare to... However, unfortunately it really didn't make my skin look any better other than making it feel smoother on touch. So darn it, this hype was over-hyped for me.

Now here's the thing, I then tried this on my mom who is in her late 50s, and woa, it really did amazing things for her! Her skin looked brighter, appeared to have less wrinkles, smoother, and the whole she-bang this thing advertised! This leaves me to think that overall this is a good product for those with more mature skin, but unfortunately just didn't do much for me.

Did this work for you? I'm writing this only after first impression, so if it's supposed to do more magic after a few uses please let me know and I will keep trying...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Face Atelier Ultra Blush - Tangerine

I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite blushes today. I love Face Atelier as a brand and many of their products (especially the foundation!), and have now come to love their blush. 

Their packaging is simple and functional, and that's all. No fuss.

This shade is called Tangerine, and as the name says is a orange-peach-corally shade.
A snapshot I took before I dug in to this beauty a year ago

You might be thinking, orange as a blush?! I am surprised too, but actually this is one of the most natural blushes I own. 

one swipe swatch on the right, same type of swatch blended out on the left

As you can you, it blends smoothly and translate to a natural warm corally-pink on the my skin. The effect is very similar to my Shiseido Color Stick in Peach Flush (click to see my review). The exception is that this FA blush is completely matte, whereas Shiseido is slightly shimmery.

Overall, a HG blush that hasn't left my bathroom daily-makeup pile since I got it! If you haven't tried any FA blushes yet I highly recommend it!

You can buy Face Atelier Blush for $26 CDN on their website.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NARS Loose Powder - Beach

Quickie review today. Nars makes amazing blushes, but their loose powder is merely "good", not terribly exciting. I have actually had this for a year now, and have been using it multiple times a week in various seasons/settings because I have been trying hard to love it more than I do.

I have the loose powder in shade "Beach", which is a yellow-tinted powder. It's quite transluscent though and doesn't appear overly yellow as some other powders can.

As you can see, it's not the most finely milled powder around, however it's not bad. It's sets makeup and banishes shine, but only for about 2-3 hrs or so on me before the shine is back this summer (I have combination skin in the summer).

In the winter, it keeps the shine at bay longer, however can cake up easily around my dry patches even with a very light application. It also makes the fine hairs on my face more obvious if I'm not careful about the application. Some setting spray helps with this but I imagine not everyone wants to take this extra step.  It also doesn't further even out the complexion for that "air-brushed" look that some other powders can help with, so whatever you did with your foundation/BB cream is what you got.

Overall, this is a solid powder for those of you with normal skin (no dry patches, not a lot of shine) to set makeup and mattify the T-zone.  I have used this on a friend before who had much better skin that me and had more of a yellow undertone and it looked very good on her. 

If you're like me though and have more problematic skin, it's useable but there are probably better options out there.

What's your favorite loose powder? Mine remains the BE Mineral Veil, though it's not the best for photography it's amazing in person. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

IOPE Air Cushion XP SPF50+ N21 Ice Vanilla

I first heard of this brand from Shopping Obsession Blog. I don't think I have actually bought a "real" Korean product before (ie. one that's not been specifically made for the North American market, so I'm not counting Dr. Jart+) and after this, I am impressed!

Mix of chemical and physical sunscreens

This was a bit of a random find, as I was browsing around Pacific Mall with my mom and passed by Amore, which is a Korean store that sells products by AmorePacific (though mainly I saw a lot of IOPE and Sulwhasoo).  The IOPE cushion was on their main display, and I remembered it being reviewed positively by Shopping Obsession Blog (see her review here), so on that memory and the help of the lovely saleslady I my first dip into Korean beauty! $45 CDN dip....

Refill cushion comes in the package, awesome!

There are actually 2 "lines" of this BB/CC cream-type product. One is "N", which is more natural sheer coverage and comes in 3 shades. The other is "C" which is more moderate coverage and was much more dewy-almost-shimmery when I swatched it in store. "C' comes in 2 shades. I chose "N" since I didn't want that much dewiness and didn't think I needed that high coverage. "C" also looked like it could cake up if I put too much on.

The packaging is like any plastic compact with a push-button-open mechanism, however it's super pretty as the white is infused with microglitter. It also feels nice and luxe when being held (yup I'm superficial like that...). 

Nice big mirror that's great for touch-ups on the go

It comes with a soft sponge for application, which the saleslady recommended to apply in dabbing/stippling motions rather than wiping. This takes longer but gives a nice smooth non-streaky finish. 

Product is sealed until you're ready to dive in...

Ooh plushy cushion...

 To get the product on the sponge, I just lightly dab it into the cushion part (the cushion is soaked in the product). Then I stipple it onto my face, starting in the centre areas where most of my redness/blotchiness resides.

Cushion product on the application sponge
The product is actually quite buildable and I can get medium coverage out of it before it starts to look cakey. It also blends beautiful with the stippling and really doesn't look like makeup on. Surprisingly, the finish on my face is demi-matte, similar to that of MUFE HD. Just enough subtle glow for a healthy look, but matte enough to not require powder!

Swatch with a couple of dabs of the sponge. Subtle but beautiful on the face!
 Without powder, this lasts well throughout the workday, but does start to look a bit blotchy by the very end of the night. If you have somewhere fancy to go after school/work I suggest bringing along the compact for touching up, or set it with powder before you head out.

Overall, I love love love this product! I think I am more keen on trying Korean products now... (thank you Shopping Obsession Blog ^_^). I also highly recommend the Amore store in Pac Mall, the ladies are really nice there and not snobby like some other sales people can be in Pac Mall...  They also gave me this IOPE skincare deluxe sample set below along with a few foil samples of Sulwhasoo skincare (not shown). All added to a great shopping experience as who doesn't like some GWP, especially when it came unexpected!

What are your favorite Korean products? Let me know also where you get them so I can go try!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Topbox August 2014

I haven't done a Topbox post in awhile, mostly as I had been getting prive boxes which weren't as exciting to post as the regular box to contribute to the "what was in your box" curiosity :) 

This time, I actually looked at spoilers prior to opening the package *gasp*. Busy-ness with my toddler prevented me from doing a day-of opening and posting is partially the reason but otherwise I may be over my want/need for surprise.

Click on to read my initial impressions of the loot!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sephora Color-Proof Eyeliner in Matte Brown vs Benefit They're Real Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

So I was testing out a new liner, and thought, "hey... why not test out that new remover too"!

The liner is a matte dark brown as the name would suggest. The eye swatch is one dip of the liner tip.

As you can see, the line is not great with one dip. With two dips however it makes a nice opaque line.

As with any other Sephora eyeliner, the tip is soft and comes to a nice point that allows you to make a sharp line and wing. See my other Sephora liner review to see a photo of the tip

 Now onto the remover 8-9 hrs later... As you can see, it's a thick/cream consistency.

Despite the thick consistency, the directions said to put it on a cotton pad like you would any liquid remover, and go at your eye as per usual. I hadsome concealer and neutral eyeshadow and blue mascara as well for removal.  From previous experience I knew the eyeliner would flake and be the most difficult to get off even with my beloved Lancome Bi-facil.

The result is the cotton pad on the right after one-go. The  process felt odd as the cream remover didn't absorb into the cotton as a liquid would, so it felt strange smearing a cream over my eye. Also not enough came off with the first go... this definitely is not comparable to Lancome's infamous Bi-facil remover, which removes any and all eye makeup in one cotton-pad-shot. Benefit got off maybe 60-70% of the stuff and with more wiping. 

What's worse than needing a second-go, is that it STUNG my eyes like mad and made my vision blurry for a good hour or so. Especially with removing mascara and eyeliner/tightliner, it's inevitable to get some of remover in the eye despite how careful I am. With Bi-facil, there is no stinging and only mild blurriness for a few seconds. The Benefit remover however made me seriously worry about my eyeball!

That said, when I went on to my second eye, I realized the Benefit remover is actually really awesome on a Q-tip, and can remove makeup in a very precise manner (yay for cleaning eyeshadow or eyeliner mistakes!). I was able to clean the eyeliner down to a neat thin line without trouble and no stinging (since I didn't get it in my eye that time). 

1) the liner is good, color is a non-exciting matte brown which is good for more natural looks, just be aware of flaking when removing which is annoying. It is waterproof and non-smudgeable throughout the day as advertised which is great in the summer.

2) the remover one needs to be careful with... beware and only use it on a Q-tip to remove PRECISE areas. It's really good for this as the thick cream doesn't run like a liquid might off the Q-tip, and therefore won't remove more than you wanted. However, I do NOT recommend using this on a cotton pad for overall removal of the whole eye makeup or suffer the stinging and blurry vision!

Have you tried either of these products? Let me know what you thought of them!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Shiseido The Makeup Accentuating Color Stick (Multi-Use) - S2 Peach Flush - Swatch & Review

Woa that was a mouthful of a name...Regardless of the long name, the product is a simple color stick that can be used on cheeks or lips (hence "multi-use", though I suppose it's really "dual-use"... I wonder where else would I use it??). 

I actually have had this for awhile, but it disappeared into the bottom of my stash and I recently re-discovered it. Upon re-using, I now remember how awesome this product is and how much I love the formula.

I have this in Peach Flush, which as the name states, is a peachy-coral shade with a very small amount of shimmer that gives a nice glow but is really not noticeably shimmery. The color is easy to wear and pairs without any look without too much thinking, however what I love most is the formula. It goes on my cheeks butter smooth and blends super easily with fingers into what feels like nothing. I've tried cream blushes before that leaves a sticky feeling on my cheeks, but this doesn't! It's not powdery and really just feels like I'm not wearing anything. 

This swatch is only one swipe on the left, and on the right is the same amount blended. It gives a very soft natural flush to my complexion and doesn't really appear as if I'm wearing blush unless I put a lot on.

I don't really like this on my lips though, it is a bit drying but my lips are super-annoyingly sensitive, so it may be fine on yours. 

I should dig around in my piles more often... I've re-found a HG blush! What's also awesome is the amount of product, I actually cut 1/4 of it off before for a DIY tinted lip balm, and I still have tons left. It'll probably be a looong while before I run out of this thing.

Have you tried any multi-use sticks? What's your favorite?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Decorative Storage for Makeup Brushes

I have too many brushes... other than the ones in current rotation that sit out on my bathroom counter (see bathroom makeup organization post), all my other personal use brushes used to sit in a makeup bag in a dark drawer. The kit brushes are of course tucked away in their brush roll, but my own supply was a bit of a mess.  I recently saw on one of JaackJack's videos that she had put her brushes into a jar with a lid, and so thought I'd make my own version that's decorative and can sit on my chest drawer. 

I got this $10 jar w/ lid from Loblaws (President Choice brand). The lid is great to keep the dust out since these brushes are essentially in "storage". 

The fillers I got from Dollarama, each color was $1. I like this color combination but wish I poured it a little better (I was aiming for two slants, but it somehow became a curve instead hehe).

The brushes stick in the fillers and stand well. With the lid off they're super easy to access.

I only store my eye brushes this way currently as the face brushes are too big and I feel like I would need a fatter jar. One day when I find the right jar...

How do you store your brushes?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bathroom Makeup Organization

I know it's not the best idea to store makeup in the bathroom due to the heat and humidity, however it has the best lighting and available counter space for me to slap my face on each morning so I keep my "on-the-go" stash there (the stuff I'm testing/using-for-the-week/staples). 

I recently came across some nice acrylic organizers at Marshalls (similar to Winners) and decided to reorganize my bathroom makeup.  I hope to have a vanity one day with nice drawers for the rest of my collection, but alas that will have to wait until I get my life (with my toddler and dog) more organized.

My work kit is always packed in it's own setup (I use a large craft organizer that I can carry around) though I sometimes want to reorganize that too. Organizing can be a total trap!!! I organize one thing and feel like other things are not up to par anymore and need to be re-organized... 

Anyhow, enough of pre-amble, here is what I've done with my bathroom for now. The products get switched up every 2-3 weeks or so as these are my day to day easily-reachables.

This is the acrylic counter top organizer I got from Marshalls. It has a lot of compartments and two little "drawers" at the bottom. It houses the current brushes I have in rotation and the products I use daily or nearly every day.

When the drawers are closed it forms a nice round base design. Pretty good for $25! I love how it allows super easy and quick access to the products, great for my bleary-eyed mornings (which is every morning...)
*Any Lancome fans spot a very old LE product? I have yet to find anything like it so can't part with it yet even though it's very very old...

The second acrylic organizer I got from Marshalls has special lip product compartments. I actually already had one just like it that I was using already in this drawer, but it had less compartments (only 9 lippies, where as this one holds 12!). There was an even more massive lippie organizer there (16!) but unfortunately it was too big for my drawer so I didn't buy it.

If you have a vanity this organizer could probably just sit on top, but I don't have enough bathroom counter space for that so I house it in my drawer. These are the products that are used 1-2x/wk anyways so pulling out a drawer doesn't bother me too much.

Here's a look at the rest of that drawer. I'm not 100% happy with it at the moment but it is what it is right now. I have a little acrylic square thing for more complexion products and the little green basket holds the samples I'm about to try out. 

Deeper in the drawer at mesh organizers I got from Target. One side is lashes/primer stuff and the other is finishing powders (and the random Too Faced sample that got tossed in there too, maybe I subconsciously used it to cover up my Hourglass jk, but really, it's an awesome palette!). 

Here's that drawer in it's entirety.

The drawer on the other side of the counter doesn't look as nice (because it doesn't have the lippies of course...), but it houses skincare items.

Do you keep makeup in your bathroom? Are you a "spreader" or do you like to put things away? I'm a "spreader" naturally and this is my effort at trying to change that... Please share with me your organization posts I'd love to see what you do with your space!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sephora The Perfectionist Makeup Sponge

 Got this from the sale section at Sephora. I love the beauty blender but it's so darn expensive for something that needs to be replaced regularly that I keep looking for dupes.

This expands a fair bit with water, though not as much as the BB (which doubles up in size). It feels nice and bouncy on the face though is a bit too malleable. The BB is soft yet stiff enough to get good stippling without having to press too hard. This one I find I have to press harder to do the stippling properly.

The shape is also...meh... It's fine. I think the pointy ends are meant for concealer or around eyes/nose area, however it's not stiff enough to do this. The point just gets squished and becomes flattened. The BB's pointy end does a much better job.

expanded with water
 One cute inclusion is the little stand which lets the sponge air dry without contacting a flat surface. Lovely addition.

The foundation result is very similar to the BB, so no complaints there.
Overall, good enough dupe for end result, though the "feel" with usage is not up to par.  I think I will use it intermittently between my BB so I don't have to replace that as often.

Have you found any good BB dupes?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Empties #1

My first empties post... I used to always just toss my used up packaging of products away without a second thought, with my only next thought being "yay time to try something new"! Recently as I've started to look at others' "empties" posts/videos, I realize it's actually a great "final word" on products. Also the fact that it even got used up (full sizes anyways) says something since most of us product junkies have too much stuff on the go at once that to use something up means something... (what does it mean though? let's find out!)


First up, deluxe sample size of EA daily serum. This sample lasted me about 10 days. It felt nice, but nothing magical happened.

Next, the Shiseido White Lucent softener (a toner product), which is a staple for me. I have bought this at least 5 times now throughout the last few years. It helps to clear off any residue I haven't washed off my face with my cleanser and is soothing. Unfortunately it doesn't actually brighten anything on my face, but I still like it nevertheless. YSL eyebrow pencil... this has been reviewed before here.  It has come to more of a stub now and is becoming unusable as it's hard to grab onto and sharpen.  As mentioned in my review post, I love this and it's been repurchased. My "final word" is still: great product!

I finished my Kate Somerville Goat Milk moisturizing cream, which I was using at night. It did good. However not so amazing to deserve a repurchase. I'm onto other things!

Lastly...this obviously isn't "empty", but has been used for about 3 months now and is time for it to go bye-bye. It's a Japanese Konjac sponge I got from T&T. This thing is rock hard when dry, but becomes super soft and cushy when wet thoroughly, and does a nice job of gentle exfoliation. I've repurchsed this as it's become a staple.

Well, there you have it, my first empties post... it felt kinda nice to say a last word on these! I think I will keep doing these posts...makes me want to use up more stuff!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Natural Workday EOTD

Most work days I like a "barely-there" kinda look and skip eyeshadow, however today I wanted to add a teensy bit...and this is what I ended up with! I found it didn't really look like makeup but made my eyes look more awake and was super easy/fast to do.

 Eyeliner: Lancome eyeshadow "Visionary" mixed with  Face Atelier Transforming Gel (allows me to make a much thinner and more precise line than using the shadow dry)
Tightline: MUFE Aqua Black
Mascara: Maybelline Big Eyes (excess product dabbed off entire wand to get thinner and more defined application)

I'm liking this technique to use more interesting colors as eyeliner (the FA transforming gel is great for this as it can turn any eyeshadow into a gel liner consistency).

What do you usually wear to work makeup-wise?