Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 2015 Favourites

makeup products, skincare products, stella eau de toilette

This month was the month of weddings (I have 3 weddings alone this weekend!) and many of my favourites this month were the products I used when getting ready for these weddings and for my everyday makeup.

To start things off, I've been using the Dior Star foundation as my base. For weddings, I don't like using a moisturiser with SPF in case of flashback in photos. So, to have a medium to full coverage foundation that has SPF 30 and doesn't cause flashback in photos and lasts all day, this foundation is one of the best out there! To complete my base makeup, I've been reaching for the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I've seriously been loving this concealer! It's lightweight, creamy and provides pretty good coverage over blemishes and scars. If you're curious, I wear the foundation in shade 031 Sand and the concealer in Medium Neutral.

For the rest of the face, I have not been able to put down the Clinique Cheek Pop in Plum Pop. It's the perfect spring/summer colour and it gives a beautiful glow to the cheeks without making them look oily. On most days, I've been pretty lazy with my eyes. I've mostly been slapping on Burberry Pale Barley (old formula) all over the lids, then applying L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof mascara for a simple, yet put together look. To finish off the face, I've been using the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ebony. Ever since getting the Brow Wiz in Ebony, it's quickly become my favourite brow product (post about that soon!).

And of course, removing all that makeup at the end of the day is crucial. The Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover has been my go-to eye makeup remover. It's seriously the best drugstore option for removing waterproof mascara that just won't budge. I then follow up with the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water before cleansing. I can honestly say it's just as good as Bioderma without leaving your skin feeling a bit stripped.

My last favourite of the month has been Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Toilette. It's a beautiful light, refreshing scent that's perfect for the spring and summer months.

What have been your May favourites?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #4

empty samples

The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Sleeping Mask: This is a gel mask that you can apply and wear to sleep. It claims to tighten pores and re-contour the skin. I really enjoyed the light raspberry scent, but it didn't do much to give much hydration to my skin. Every time I used it, I woke up with some dry patches on my nose.
Purchase: No

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light Cream: To be honest, I don't even remember how this cream worked on my skin and I used up three samples of it. I liked the scent of it and the light texture, but I guess it was quite a meh cream since I can't remember the effects of it!
Purchase: No

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner: I only had one sample of this toner, which gave me two uses. I wish I had more samples to actually see if it did anything for my skin. The toner is quite thick for what it is and my skin did feel more hydrated in combination with my other skincare products. But, since I couldn't accurately gauge its effects, I can't really say if I would purchase it.
Purchase: No

Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream: I don't really have wrinkles at the moment, so I think this sample kind of got wasted on me. It is a thick and rich cream, but it wasn't too rich for me! I quite enjoyed that it somehow helped in calming my skin. When I used this cream, I wasn't breaking out as much. Maybe a side effect? But a good side effect! I will consider using this when I'm older and I start noticing wrinkles forming.
Purchase: Maybe

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream: This little sample lasted me about 1.5 months and I really enjoyed using it! I have this one pesky wrinkle under my right eye that causes my concealer to crease. After using this, I found it helped a little with improving the wrinkle. I feel like I would need to use this cream a little longer to really see the full effects. It's quite rich so I used it during the night but it kept my undereye area hydrated. It's a little pricey, but I think it's worth it.
Purchase: Yes

Bioderma Hydrabio Serum: Despite my dislike of gel moisturisers, I really liked this one! This was more of a true gel, rather than the watery gel moisturisers. I used this as a serum (as the product name indicates) under my nightly moisturiser. It sank into my skin very quickly and some nights, I felt like I could stop there. This would be a great option for those looking for something to help maintain the moisture in their skin. I would consider using just this as my nightly moisturiser in the summer.
Purchase: Yes

Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream: I think my skin totally dislikes Fresh products. This did not agree with my skin. Perhaps it's just way too rich for my younger skin, but I broke out like crazy from it. I didn't like how it felt either. It never fully absorbed into my skin and my face felt like a total grease ball afterwards. It drove me nuts. Plus the scent wasn't something I enjoyed.
Purchase: No

So, there you have it. My samples empties for the month. After this month, I've used up 37 samples since the beginning of the year. Not too shabby! I'm excited to see how many samples I'll have used up this entire year.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Skincare Additions

skincare products

Over the last month or so, a few new items have crept into my skincare routine. With the changes in season and the weather getting warmer, it was time to switch some things up.

If you didn't already know, I absolutely love using Bioderma to help in removing my base makeup before cleansing at the end of the day. But lately, I've grown a little tired of using it and paying so much for it. I made it a mission to see if any of the drugstore options were as good, if not better, at a fraction of the price. I've switched in the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water to see if it truly lives up to the hype it's getting.

The next skincare addition is the Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner. I don't have the greatest experience with toners, since most of the ones I've tried haven't done much for my skin. I love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (review), but I've been trying to find a toner that doesn't have alcohol. Now, I've already mentioned this product in my April favourites, so it's certainly found a place in my skincare routine. It's been working quite well on my skin and I've found the way it works best for me. This is something I'll elaborate on in my future review.

I recently finished up my sample of the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream and before I actually go ahead and purchase the full size, I'm going through some eye cream samples I have. First up is the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream (longest name ever). My undereye area doesn't really have that many wrinkles, but prevention is key, right? A sample packet usually lasts a while and from the short amount of time I've been using this cream, I've actually seen results!

Last, but not least, is the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. I was looking for a new moisturiser with SPF to use during the day and decided to try this out based on a recommendation from a friend. I didn't want to splurge on the larger size, so I got this small, almost sample sized bottle. The texture is quite interesting! When dispensed, it looks and feels quite thin, but once you start rubbing it into the skin, it feels quite thick and hard to blend in. It leaves a whitecast on the skin and that kind of bothers me. I'm not totally sold on this moisturiser right now, but I'm going to keep using it and see if it grows on me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Current Makeup Rotation: May 2015

makeup products

It's been a while since I've blogged and I apologise for my brief hiatus. All is well now and it feels good to write about makeup again! So, what better to write about than the products I've been using in my daily routine this month?

For my day-to-day base products, I've been using the NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The tinted moisturizer helps even out my complexion while still keeping my skin looking natural. I use the Maybelline concealer for my undereyes and the NARS concealer to cover up any blemishes and scars. I've been using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light to set the base products, but I'm still not too satisfied with how it works.

The rest of my face products include a couple of new purchases and an oldie but goodie. I've been absolutely loving the Clinique Cheek Pop in Plum Pop. The texture and finish are wonderful and it's such a spring appropriate shade. I've also been testing out the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight. I'm pretty happy with the beautiful glow and highlight it gives my cheeks and it's pretty safe to say it'll be the only highlighter I'll ever need. I say that now, but I might go highlighter crazy in the near future. And of course, the NYC Sunny Bronzer - an oldie but goodie. It works to warm up my current lighter skin, but I'll have to switch it out once I start getting more tanned in the coming months.

makeup products

Next up are the eyes. I've rotated in my beloved Urban Decay Naked Palette. I seriously don't use this enough! But when wedding season comes around, this is the palette I go to. Since most of the weddings I'm attending this year are happening this month, it's been incorporated into my daily routine. The mascara of choice at the moment is the L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof mascara. It keeps my lashes curled and it's waterproof. It does smudge a bit under my lower lashline, but it's something I can deal with. I'm also just trying to use it up!

For lips, I'm trying to keep things natural. The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer gives the perfect hint of colour without the stickiness that lipglosses usually have. Plus it keeps my lips hydrated!

What have you been using this month?

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #3

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer: I don't remember when I got this sample, but it's one of the best primers I've used. It leaves a nice silky feel on the skin and helps makeup last longer on the skin.
Purchase: Yes - I've already purchased a small bottle of it

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment: This was an ok primer. It's a gel primer that does make the skin feel smooth, but it didn't seem to keep the oils under control. My makeup did hold up better with it, but it's not the best I've tried. As for the anti-acne properties, it didn't seem to do much for preventing or treating any acne.
Purchase: No

Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer: This was a pretty big sample since it lasted me about 2.5 months. I don't think it "instantly" corrected the appearance of unevenness, but it did help keeping my skin hydrated. This has quite a strong scent that's much like the hair products you smell at a salon, but I didn't mind it. I used this at night even though I think it's meant to be used during the day, but I woke up with super soft skin. At the end of the day, I'm quite meh about this moisturiser.
Purchase: No

Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk: I was pleasantly surprised at how moisturising this body milk was! For something so thin, it felt really nice on the skin and sank I quickly. However, this is marketed to those with dry skin, but I don't think it'll be moisturising enough for those with dry skin. The scent was very pleasant. If you know what Nuxe Reve de Miel smells like, this is that in cream form.
Purchase: No - not right now, since I have a whole bunch of other lotions to finish

Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water: As with other cleansing/micellar waters, I don't think they do a great job at removing makeup. I mostly use them to help remover base makeup before cleansing. This had a nice light scent, but it didn't remove my base makeup as well as Bioderma. I did find that my skin felt a little more hydrated after using it, compared to Bioderma.
Purchase: No

Shiseido White Lucent Total Brightening Serum: I wish I had more than one sample of this serum so I could actually see if it did anything to my skin. I'm quite undecided on this since one sample isn't enough to truly see if it worked or had any effect on my skin. But, for the amount it costs to buy this serum, there are alternatives that I imagine will work as well (or better) for much less.
Purchase: No

Lancome DreamTone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector - 2 Medium: Just like the Shiseido White Lucent Serum, I wish I had more than one sample of this to truly test out the product. This felt like a light cream, similar to the La Roche Posay Pigmentclar Serum (review). Unfortunately, I couldn't tell if this was working or not from the one sample that I received. It's also quite expensive at $114 versus $59 for the LRP Pigmentclar Serum.
Purchase: No

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream: I'm quite sad that I finished this up! Such a wonderful lightweight cream that kept my eyes hydrated throughout the night. If you're looking for an eye cream that does all the fancy stuff (e.g. diminish dark circles, diminish fine lines and wrinkles), this isn't for you. It's just a nice basic eye cream that does that it says. It's quite nice under makeup as well, since it acts as a primer.
Purchase: Yes, after I finish up a whole bunch of other eye creams

With this update, it brings the total number of samples used to date to 27. Slowly, but surely, I'm making my way through my box full of samples!

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