Monday, March 30, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #2

It's the end of another month, so it's time for an update on how many samples I've used up in the past month.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate: I finished up a couple more sample packets and a tube of this concentrate. I felt like I started seeing results, but then my face broke out from another skincare product, so I'm still not entirely sure how well this works. At this point, I like how nice my skin feels from using it, but I'm not seeing the results and I don't want to add another step to my skincare routine.
Purchase: No

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex: I did not like this cream at all. It had a very green plant scent to it that really turned me off. It was also quite thick and felt too rich for my skin. Perhaps this would be better suited for more mature skin.
Purchase: No

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate: I used up a sample packet and a mini bottle of this serum. My skin did look more even and brighter, but it was hard to tell if it did anything for my fine lines and wrinkles (or lack thereof). My skin didn't really feel firmer, but to be fair, this product isn't geared toward my skin.
Purchase: No - not right now, but perhaps in the future when I'm older

REN Micro Polish Cleanser: This is probably the harshest physical exfoliator I've used to date. It was really rough on my skin and I felt like I needed to use the gentlest force while massaging this cleanser on my face. My skin was smoother after using it, but I've used other exfoliators that are much less rough that have been just as effective.
Purchase: No

Vichy Purete Thermale Soft & Soothing Toner: This toner had a strong rose scent to it, which I enjoyed. It did help with removing any residual makeup after cleansing, but my skin didn't feel more hydrated or soothed after using it. I have yet to find a toner that really wows me, except the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (review).
Purchase: No

Clarins Super Restorative Night Age Spot Correcting Replenishing Cream: My skin felt plumper and more hydrated after using this. I don't have any age spots (that I know of), but my scars from pimples didn't fade, so I'm not sure if this truly lives up to the age spot correcting claims.
Purchase: No

Bioderma Hydrabio Legere: I wrote about this in a disappointing products post. It's quite a lightweight moisturiser and I required a serum under this for it to be hydrating enough for my skin. Perhaps I should've tried this out in the summer, but like I said in the disappointing products post, I'd rather apply a hydrating moisturiser with SPF.
Purchase: No

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: I loved this hand cream! It's quite a light cream that's moisturising. It absorbed into my skin very quickly and the scent is isn't too heavy. I would buy this hand cream just for the scent. I know Caudalie makes this hand cream in other scents and includes it in value sets, so I'll be on the lookout for them.
Purchase: Yes

I used up 11 samples this past month, which makes for a total of 19 so far! Also, it seems the only full sized products I'd purchase are hand creams. Hopefully the next round of samples will impress me. Until next month!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Long Lasting Makeup: Dinner With Friends

makeup products for long lasting makeup

makeup products for long lasting makeup

Continuing from my What's In My Bag: Dinner with Friends post, today I will show you what products I use to achieve a simple long lasting look that will take you from day to night.

To achieve makeup that lasts throughout the day, it's important to prep the skin. After applying my moisturiser, I like to smooth on the Benefit The Porefessional primer. This helps with controlling the oil my skin produces throughout the day and keeping it matte. For foundation, I use Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet since it also helps with keeping my skin matte. It leaves this beautiful velvet finish without leaving my skin looking too flat. To conceal my dark circles and blemishes, I use the usual NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Then I set everything with the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. This is probably my all-time favourite setting powder. It brings the skin to life if you find your skin is looking dull or too matte, while giving great oil control. And that's the base done!

For the eyes, I like to use a cream eyeshadow all over the lid. It's simple, quick and long lasting. My favourite of the moment is the Origins Brightening Cream Eyeshadow in Coffee Buzz. Then, I line my eyes with the Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Eyeliner and the Gosh Velvet Liner on the bottom lash line. The Physicians Formula liquid liner can be found at the drugstore, is waterproof and doesn't smudge. Perfect for a long day. Then I finish off the eyes with the Maybelline The Rocket waterproof mascara

Of course we can't forget the eyebrows! For simplicity and saving time in the morning I like to use Benefit Gimme Brow. This will help with filling in sparse areas, while setting the hairs in place. 

As for the rest of the face, a little of the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder warms up the face, while adding a bit of contour. My blush of choice at the moment is the Clarins Blush Prodige in Sweet Rose - this gives the face a healthy glow. 

If your face gets oily throughout the day or your makeup tends to move around, using a makeup setting spray would be ideal. For me, the combination of these products sits well on my normal to combination skin and I only need to blot and powder once throughout the day. 

What do you use to create a look that lasts from day to night?

Disclosure: This is the second of two posts with my collaboration with OpenTable Toronto. This post is not sponsored. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's In My Bag: Dinner with Friends

collage of pictures of food from Scaddabush

I'm sure you've heard of OpenTable before - it helps connect restaurants with diners and their communities. You can find many restaurants all in one place and reserve a table to dine at these restaurants.

OpenTable Toronto reached out to me to talk about my experience with using OpenTable. I happily agreed to collaborate with them since I use OpenTable all the time to make dinner reservations and I love food. If you've seen my Instagram, most of my pictures are of food! If you're new to OpenTable, it's an easy way to look up new restaurants to try out and book a reservation all in one place. You can even earn points with each reservation you make to eventually redeem for money to use at any participating OpenTable restaurant.

OpenTable is very easy to use. Once you go to the site, all you need to do is type in the restaurant you want to make a reservation with, or search up restaurants in a specific area, or a specific cuisine. Then, select the number of people, the date and time, and fill in the required information. Then you're done! It's such an extremely easy and quick way to make a reservation at many restaurants. 

I was asked to write up two posts as part of this collaboration. For today's post, we're taking a look inside my bag to see what I bring with me on a night out with friends.

longchamp les planetes tote and bag contents

birds eye view of bag contents

Most of the time, I go out for dinner with friends after a long day of work. To hold everything I need for the day and night, I carry the black Longchamp Les Planetes tote in the large size. My essentials that I bring with my everywhere are my Prada wallet and gold pouch. Of course, my wallet includes all my cards and money. If you read about my purse essentials, the gold pouch contains much of the same items. Within this little pouch are the Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens, feminine pad, eye drops, vaseline, floss, NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder, Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush, and a mini tube of hand cream. 

When I know I'll be going out for dinner after work, I like to bring with me the blush I used for the day. Preferably a blush that can fit one of those mini brushes that some blushes come with. For my recent night out, I used the Clarins Blush Prodige in Sweet Rose. I find applying blush after a work day brightens and refreshes the complexion. For the lips, I tend to stick with the same thing I use during the day. On this day, it was the Dior Addict Lip Glow

I also pack a lunch for the office and always carry around a pen with me - of course the boring bits aren't pictured.

To find out what products I use to create a simple and long lasting look, click here!

And if you're wondering where the food from the first picture is from, it's from Scaddabush. It's a great place to go for reasonably priced Italian food in the downtown Toronto area.

Disclosure: This is the first of two posts with my collaboration with OpenTable Toronto. This post is not sponsored. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disappointing Products #2

makeup and skincare products

For some reason, disappointing products posts are some of and continue to be one of my favourite posts to read. There are many products out there that get a lot of hype and attention, but don't work as well as they're cracked up to be. You can read my first disappointing products post here. So, let's get on to more products that I was disappointed with!

Bioderma Hydrabio Legere: Part of Bioderma's Hydrabio range, this is the moisturiser for normal combination dehydrated sensitive skin. I really like Bioderma's micellar water and their mattifying fluid, so I had hopes for this. Used by itself, my skin still felt dry. This definitely required a serum before applying this moisturiser. I think this would be a suitable moisturiser for the summer time, however, I much prefer using something with SPF, rather than applying a separate SPF on top. 

Bioderma Sensibio Dermatological facial wipes: I already did a review of these wipes here. I really wanted to love these! A facial wipe soaked with the awesome Bioderma micellar water sounds like a wonderful product, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it wasn't very effective at taking off my eye makeup and only removed some of my base makeup. 

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer: This gets so many rave reviews from beauty bloggers and YouTubers! So, I was expecting amazing things with this primer. This primer is wetter than I would have liked so it felt more like a moisturiser on my skin. This made me realize I much prefer primers that make my skin feel smooth. In the end, this didn't make my makeup last any longer than without primer and I'm pretty sure I had to blot and powder more often. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light: I think I'm going to get in trouble for including this! Diffused Light is a pale yellow powder that helps reduce redness, eliminate shine and give skin clarity. I chose this shade for eliminating shine and reducing redness in my skin, but it made me look sick. It also didn't help control the oils my skin produced throughout the day. I needed to blot and powder more often. So unfortunate since I liked how it helped blur imperfections. Maybe I chose the wrong shade for my skin, but I was so disappointed by this powder.

Have you tried any of these products? Did they disappoint you?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Go-To Lip Products

lip products and swatches

When it comes to lip products, I'm a pretty simple person. I like my lip balms and sheer tinted lip products. But, some days call for a different colour to suit the seasons or perhaps add more shine. These five featured lip products are my go-to favourites for any occasion but are also great for every day.

If you can't already tell, I love my natural looking shades. On days where I want more gloss and shine, I opt for the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. It's sheer but still gives enough of a tint on the lips and the perfect amount of gloss without the stickiness.

Now that the weather's warming up, I go for the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. It's a soft pink shade with mauve undertones, which goes well with my medium olive skintone. It has just the right amount of pink to perk up my lips.

For days where I want more of a nude colour, and I don't mean flesh coloured, I pick up the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. My idea of a nude is a my lips but better shade. Because my lips are quite pigmented, this has the perfect mix of pink and brown to balance out the colour of my lips. I'm definitely a lover of pinky-brown shades! Which brings me to the Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Fawn. It's quite similar to Pink Truffle, but has a hint more pink and lasts longer. This is the lippie I reach for when I'm going on interviews or need to look more professional.

Last, but not least, we have the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bel Ami. I have to admit, I'm a bit chicken when it comes to red lipstick. So this is my version of a red lip. This is a deep berry red shade which I absolutely love. Once the fall season comes upon us, I immediately pull this out.

What are some of your go-to lip products?

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Mascara Stash

It's been a week since I last posted and I hope you didn't miss me! I felt a little burnt out and uninspired and needed a tiny break. The past week gave me some time to refocus myself and plan out more of my upcoming posts.

mascaras on a notebook

After a brief clean out and reorganizing of my makeup, I thought I would show you the stash of mascaras I currently have and am testing/using. As part of my goal of using up what I already have, I'm trying not to buy more before using up the open tubes.

I don't really have a preference for drugstore or high end mascaras. I look for mascaras that can hold a curl for the entire day and are waterproof and smudgeproof.

At the moment, I have the Shu Uemura Petal Mascara, L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara and Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara (not pictured) on rotation. A while ago, I bought the Revlon Lash Potion Waterproof Mascara because I kept hearing good things about it and wanted to check it out. But I still haven't gotten to it. Then, the more recent purchases are the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara and the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara.

I go through phases of wearing mascara and I'm currently in one of those phases. Hopefully I'll be able to get through one or two of these in the next few months!

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What did you think of them?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Chiselled Cheeks

kevyn aucoin sculpting powder in medium

kevyn aucoin sculpting powder in medium

For the longest time, contouring, or even the idea of contouring was a distant thought. It wasn't until last year that I started getting interested in contouring. I don't even know what caused me to start thinking about it, but it's given me the excuse to indulge in more makeup.

From the research (if you can call it that) I did on the best contouring products, bronzer seemed to be the most popular thing to use. After using bronzer for a bit, it never seemed like my face was truly being contoured. Also, what kind of shadow is a warm brown colour anyway?

Enter the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium.

My somewhat chubby cheeks suddenly had some definition! The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is a cult favourite that helps add the illusion of a shadow underneath the cheeks to make them more chiselled and sculpted.

kevyn aucoin sculpting powder in medium swatches
L-R: Heavily swatched, Lightly swatched and slightly blended
The powder consists of brown, grey and red pigments to create the perfect shade for mimicking shadows. It's smooth and blends like a dream. You can use just a little bit of the powder to provide subtle definition, or build it up for that super sculpted and chiselled look. This powder is quite pigmented, so a little will go a long way! I like to swipe my brush across the powder, then dab a bit off on the back of my hand before applying right under my cheeks. Make sure to blend it into the hairline and along the jawline!

I originally bought this off Cult Beauty, but Sephora now carries Kevyn Aucoin products!

What's your favourite contouring product?

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Review: Bioderma Sensibio Facial Wipes

bioderma sensibio h2o facial wipes

Facial wipes are always a controversy. We have those that swear by them and those that say you shouldn't use them. I'm still on the fence whether they belong in one's makeup removal routine. So, let's get onto today's review of the Bioderma SensiBio facial wipes to see if they changed my mind!

I'm already a huge fan of the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, so it would only be natural for me to try out the cleansing wipes. This is essentially a facial wipe that's been soaked in the famous Bioderma Sensibio micellar water. It's the size of a typical facial wipe and made of a pretty thick but sturdy material. It's soft on the skin, but there is a slight fragrance to these cloths. So, if you have sensitive skin, the fragrance might be a potential irritant.

But how well did these wipes work?

I found that even though the wipes are saturated with the micellar water, they felt a little dry. However, the wipes do have texture to them which helps in removing makeup. They did remove a decent amount of makeup, but my face still felt like there was a layer of makeup remaining. For testing purposes, I used a cotton pad with some of the Bioderma micellar water to see how much makeup was left on my face. There was still a lot remaining.

Waterproof makeup? These wipes did nothing in removing waterproof makeup. My waterproof mascara and eyeliner did not budge. I had to use an actual eye makeup remover afterwards to get it off.

All in all, I think there are much better facial cleansing wipes out there and I much prefer using the liquid version of Bioderma.

You can find this at Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall for $14.95. Each pack comes with 25 wipes.

Monday, March 02, 2015

March Makeup Rotation

makeup products

makeup products

Another month, another makeup rotation. This month, I'm continuing to test out some new products while shopping my stash for some old goodies.

As the days get longer and brighter, I'm giving my beloved Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder a rest and using the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Natural to give my face some colour and warmth. To continue with giving my face a healthy glow, I'm switching in the limited edition YSL Blush Radiance in No. 6. This blush gives a beautiful bright pink flush that doesn't look over the top. 

A couple of products that I'm currently testing are the NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation and the Marcelle Duo Eyebrow Pro. I bought the NARS powder foundation during the Sephora VIB sale a few months ago and started using it after I finished up another setting powder. Look out for the review coming soon! Then there's the Marcelle eyebrow pencil which also includes a setting gel. I recently started using this, so we'll see how I get along with it.

Last but not least, I'm going back to an old favourite for the lips. The Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey is a my-lips-but-better shade. It's easy to apply and is a no fuss colour. 

What are some of the beauty products you'll be reaching for this month?

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