Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Okay, time for September 2014 empties!
1. L'Occitane En Provence Dry Skin Foot Cream - This was a travel sized tube. I love this stuff and this is frequently amongst my empties. Please see full review on my blog. Already repurchased.
2. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream - Another fave and a frequently item in my empties. Please see full review on my blog. Already repurchased.
3. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in Intensity 2.0 - Old faithful. I am starting to sound redundant here...but yet another usual suspect in my monthly empties. Why, oh why, have I not done a review on this product yet? Already repurchased.
4. Wen by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - I have gone through countless bottles of this stuff. I keep coming back to it for its amazing detangling properties. Please see full review on my blog. Already have 10,000 in my cupboard. Slight exaggeration.
5. Olivia Care Natural Olive Oil Verbena Hand Soap - I promised I wouldn't bother to list any toothpaste, deodorant or hand soap in my empties unless it was something special. This is. I have purchased numerous varieties of Olivia Care Hand Soaps in the past (usually from Winners, Marshalls or T.J. Max) and I honestly love them the best of all of the hand soaps on the market. I will put in a big order straight from their website if I find I cannot get it around here one day. They smell nice, don't have harsh chemicals in them and they leave your hands soft and clean. What more could I ask for?
6. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser - Please see full review on my blog. I have been using this face wash steady since around February or March 2014. It foams up like crazy and is super gentle. If you have dry skin, I would highly recommend it. I did find that I really had to scrub or rinse and repeat with this product as my skin never got really clean after the first wash and sometimes not even after the second. I am also not sure how much it does to help with blemishes. If you are having skin issues and want something for sensitive skin, this might be the one for you.
7. Korres Volcanic Mineral Mascara - Please see full review on my blog. This mascara was kind of neat. It actually curled my lashes and made them wispy. I never get that effect with other mascaras. I don't think I got even 20 uses out of this mini tube. It dried out fast and started to stink fast. Not sure if it was because of the more "natural" ingredients. I would consider repurchasing.
8. Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush - I just did a blog entry on how I was retiring this brush. I think the reason is obvious.
9. Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara - Another frequent empties item. I am not sure I get a full three months out of each tube of this mascara. The formula is a bit dry and it dries out easily. It's still the only mascara that I have ever found that does not smudge on me no matter what happens. Already repurchased. Please see full review on my blog.
10. Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream - This was a small sample jar. It is one of those eye creams that when you put it on, your eyes sigh and say thank you. It feels great on. It did nothing for my dark circles though so it will not be a repurchase.
11. Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment - One of the better colours in this product line. This was just a mini size that I had kicking around for too long. Decided to hurry up and finish it. I already have a full sized replacement. Not sure how often I will repurchase in the future as it is pricey. A solid product though. Please see full review on my blog.
Monday, 29 September 2014
I have found myself with a couple of samples of this product lately. I tried it for kicks a week ago and then again yesterday. I don't feel that I can give a full review because, obviously, I have only tried it twice. I have to say right off of the bat that this product gives the best coverage of any CC cream that I have tried. The coverage is excellent!
I have used the colour Light/Medium as that is the colour of the samples that I have. This shade is too dark for me and it is quite orange which was a bit scary. I would definitely try the Light if I was to buy some. I find this product is very comfortable to wear. Your skin feels nice and light. I will note that when I touched my face while wearing this, my face felt tacky, even after having the product on for several hours. I think a lot of people would not like that at all.
This is a very expensive product. One tube is $55 Canadian or $48 U.S. for 1.7 oz. At this price point, I would have to question whether I really wanted this product. However, before I put my foot in my mouth, my foundation is only 1 oz. and costs me $44 dollars...I just think for a CC Cream, this is a tad pricey. What do you think?
I have seen some reviews that say some people get a bad reaction to this product if they wear it day in, day out, for weeks. I will bear that in mind as a cautionary tale. It did nothing bad to my skin after I wore this on the two occasions but I certainly can't comment on long term use. My skin felt good when I wore it and my skin felt happy. That's more than I say for a lot of products!
All of this being said, if the shade Light worked for me and wasn't too orange, I would consider buying this. I won't be rushing out to get it, but I would consider it.
Bits and Bites
- I have 3 big palette reviews coming soon - one this week for sure!
- It's looking like I will have a ton of empties for September and likely October...
Friday, 26 September 2014
Sad news today I am afraid. I am finally declaring the immediate retirement of my Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush. I have had this brush for just under 4 years. It has been in bad shape for the last year but now it is simply beyond redemption. I rotate 4 foundation brushes so in reality I likely used this brush the equivalent of every day for one calendar year. I find this particular brush sheds like crazy and the bristles or hairs are constantly uneven. The brush was good at first. I have other Sigma Kabuki brushes that I use for foundation and they do not shed nor are the bristles uneven. I have had them all the same length of time. Maybe my F80 is a dud?
As you can see in the photos, my F80 is no longer a pretty sight. I have washed and shaped this brush lovingly, but alas it did not stand the test of time. I know Sigma brushes are more budget friendly than MAC brushes, but honestly I have never needed to "retire" any of the MAC brushes that I have ever had and I have had them a lot longer (and they are still going strong) than I had this brush. Has anyone else had this experience with Sigma brushes?
In the pictures above, I have washed this brush. I am finding it increasingly more difficult to get foundation out of my Sigma brushes. The texture of these brushes is also not as nice as it once was. Will I repurchase my F80? The answer is no. There are other brushes on the market now and competition has gotten fierce. I might end up buying a higher end brush (I have my sights set on 3), but I think it may be worth it.
Monday, 22 September 2014
When I first saw this palette I likely thought the same thing that many people did, "Wow, what a boring palette." I didn't give it another look and didn't even bother to swatch it in the store until I noticed that some bloggers were raving about the palette. I went back to Sephora and swatched it. Quite impressive, it was.
I am likely dating myself, but I remember when Pulp Fiction came out. It was a huge movie at the time and I wanted to get this palette for nostalgia sake (as it is the 20th anniversary of the movie release) before I saw what eyeshadows were in it. When I saw the colours originally, I lost interest. So anyway, I swatched it and bought it after reading all of these fantastic reviews. I do not regret my purchase. I love this palette. It was $41 Canadian and $34 U.S. Well worth every penny.
I took this straight from Sephora's website:
This set contains:- 5 x 0.06 oz eye shadows in Righteous (light cream matte), Tyranny (warm brown matte), Vengeance (deep taupe-brown, matte-satin), Furious (white satin), Anger (black satin)
All 5 eyeshadows are super blendable and creamy. My only complaint is that Tyranny and Vengeance are a bit crumbly but I can live with that. The pigmentation is fantastic and the colours compliment each other so well. My favourite colour is Vengeance. Furious doesn't look overly "black" more like a grey black in the packaging but it is seriously potent and long lasting. The palette comes with a dual-ended brush which I likely won't use, but hey it's free so it's all good.
Although I think I will only be creating a couple of looks from this palette, the looks are classic and you can't go wrong. This would be a good palette for travel. This palette is simple, yet gorgeous and very high quality. Excellent work Urban Decay!
Here are the swatches:
I do fear that this palette will disappear sooner or later so if you are interested, I would run and get one asap.
Packaging: 10/10 (nice, big mirror and good for travel)Pigmentation: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? YES
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
**Update 09/29/2014: Urban Decay has this palette on their website on sale for $16 U.S.!!! Grab it while you can!!!**
Sunday, 21 September 2014
I've been a bit under the weather the last few days so I apologize for slacking off from my blogging. I will have an eyeshadow palette review up tomorrow and there are others coming soon.
This makeup remover by Estee Lauder says that it is for All Skin Types and that it is a Gentle Eye and Lip LongWear Makeup Remover. I agree that it is very gentle and non-irritating. My skin is super sensitive since that Ole Henriksen debacle I had a couple of weeks ago and this product doesn't bother my skin in the least. The bottle is 3.4 oz. or 100ml. I think that is kind of small, especially if you are someone who wears eye makeup daily, so this bottle isn't going to last you very long. I believe this bottle is $20 U.S., and in Canada I think it may be around $27-$32 Canadian. I don't remember the exact amount that I paid, but I remember thinking that it was pricey for what you get.
This is one of those dual-phase formulas that you need to shake up before use. It has that oil and water type of thing going on. I am not a big fan of dual-phase formulas in general, but in this case, I have to say that it is effective. I do find it a tad greasy though which is one of my main complaints about this type of formulation. Does this product work? Yes, and it works well. It removes all of my makeup with minimal effort. I do feel like I really need to wet up my cotton pad with the product though. If you use too little on the cotton pad you are basically going to get the feeling of rubbing a stiff piece of dry cotton across your eyelid which is never nice. In other words, you need to use quite a bit of product in order to get a sufficient amount onto your cotton pad. Sometimes, I feel like one use is costing me a lot of money if I start to dissect the cost of the bottle versus the number of uses that I get out of it.
I would go as far as to say that this is one of the best makeup removers on the market. I don't find any trace amounts of leftover mascara on my face, on my pillow or a small black mark under my eye in the shower after I use this. That can happen with some removers that look like they have removed all of your makeup when they really haven't! I have no such issue with this product. It also has hardly any smell so I don't think anyone would find this offensive.
Texture: 9/10 (a tad greasy)
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Value for Money: 6/10 (you get so little for so much $$$ but it does work well)
Travel Worthy: 4/10 (not unless you packed some in a separate leak proof container)
Would I buy this again? Maybe, but I object to the price and the quantity you get
Overall Rating: 8/10
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
This was my first Alterna hair care product and it likely won't be my last. It did cost me a pretty penny though, $31 Canadian. It's only $25 U.S. Mental note to buy it in the U.S. from now on when I am there....
The tube is 2.5 oz. or 74ml which is not a hell of a lot of product. At this price point, you can't spare a drop to be lost down the drain. I have taken the below product details directly from Sephora's website:
What it is: A leave-in hair product that delivers 10 benefits in one simple step, leaving hair perfectly polished.
What it does:
Caviar CC Cream or “Complete Correction” cream is a miracle leave-in product that perfects hair in 10 different and unbelievable ways. It provides moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV protection, manageability, and strength—everything your hair needs to look absolutely beautiful, healthy, and flawless. This 10-in-one formula can be used alone or as a foundation for the layering of other styling products.
What it is formulated WITHOUT:
My ends tend to split easily and I am plagued with frizzy, unmanageable hair. I had an itchy, scratchy feeling before I even opened the tube that I would likely only likely end up using this on my ends as some bloggers have suggested and that is basically what I do with it. I find that if I apply it to my ends when they are wet, I get pretty good control over them and they don't tend to frizz. This product keeps my ends and any other part of my hair that I apply it to, soft and shiny. One application to my ends lasts until I wash my hair again. I don't use much product this way, I am happy with the results, and to me it is worth the $$$.
I have to tried to use this product all over freshly washed hair and it just doesn't cut the mustard for me. My hair is way to frizzy and unmanageable overall, I need something with more hold. This is a light hold product by the way as mentioned on the tube. If that works for you, and it might if you don't have a rat's nest for hair like me, that's great but I bet you will burn through tubes of this like wildfire!
I also tried to use this on dry hair for Day 2 styling and it was ok. I found my hair looked good for a few hours but as the day wore on, it simply was not enough hold for me. This, I might add, is when used in the cooler months as it is freezing here right now! I can guarantee that this product wouldn't have a snowball's chance in a toaster against my frizzy hair in the summer months.
Like I said, I am happy with this product though for my ends and it works well on those ends regardless of how I style my hair (curly, straight or wavy), and it will be a definite repurchase. I will likely try other Alterna products too in the future based on my experience with this one.
Packaging: 9/10 (pump works very well)Easy to Work With: 8/10 (just wish it had more hold)
Touchable Hair: 10/10
Humidity Resistance: 6/10
Hold: 6.5/10 (likely good enough for most people just not me so this is biased)
Value for Money: 7.5/10
Would I buy this again? YES
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders Review - Sheer Transformation Brightening Moisturizer, Invigorating Night Gel and Truth Serum Collagen Booster
First, I am going to give you a snippet of what Sephora's website says about these three products:
Embrace Ole’s philosophy for gorgeous, healthy skin with daily exfoliation, hydration, and protection. These three multitaskers work in synergy to brighten, resurface, and hydrate using the most potent antiaging powerhouses: vitamin C, essential fatty acids, and alpha hydroxy acids—the three pillar ingredients of Ole’s skincare. By expertly blending potent actives balanced with nurturing and soothing botanicals, skin can achieve maximum youthful results. These three little wonders with indulgent textures and aromas make treating your skin a daily pleasure.
Before I get into the guts of my review, I would like to point out that a lot of people love these Ole Henriksen products. The reviews on Sephora's website site are phenomenal for the most part. If you start to look at a lot of the reviews though, it seems that there is a segment of the population that has no love for these products and has had a very bad experience with them. Sadly, I am one of those people. This appears to be especially the case for the acne-prone like myself. It's not just that I didn't like these products, they sure as hell didn't like me.
Okay, enough blabbing. Let's cut to the chase. I started this skincare system at nighttime a week ago. First, you are supposed to use the Invigorating Night Gel. It has AHA in it and I have used that before in other brands and had no issues. I applied this stuff to my face and it felt like it was on fire. My skin was screaming like I had poured acid on it. It really hurt. The pain went away completely after about an hour. I know AHA products can sting a bit and that is ok with me, but this was something else. I then put the Sheer Transformation Brightening Moisturizer on hoping it would soothe my face. It did somewhat. I just hoped and prayed and this was a one time deal, the burning, and that it was just a "growing pain" thing when you first use this product.
When I woke up the next morning, my pillow stunk of sulphur and it was greasy as all hell. My face hurt and when I touched it, I could tell that something was very wrong. I knew I had broken out on a scale that was out of this world. I looked in the mirror and tried not to scream. My cheeks were covered in huge cystic pimples/blemishes/zits, whatever you want to call them. They hurt like hell and were like open sores. They were, sorry to be gross, literally bloody and sore-like. It seriously looked like I poured acid on my face.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I hoped against hope that the product was just cleaning out my pores and this was a one time thing. I, stupidly, put the daytime Ole Henriksen stuff on. I thought or hoped that the daytime moisturizer and serum would calm my skin down. I applied the Truth Serum. Now, to be truthful, no pun intended, I did try a sample of the Truth Serum once before and didn't really like it. It's very greasy and it doesn't absorb into my skin very well. Then I put the Sheer Transformation on. I have to say that these two did calm my skin down slightly, but my face hurt all day. I had to slap on so much cover-up for work, it wasn't funny.
That night I thought that my skin couldn't get much worse so I did another night treatment. My skin burned like crazy again, just not as much as the last time. I was literally biting the insides of my mouth of digging my nails into my palms. Yes, I am clearly mad. The next morning my skin was still a total disaster and it still hurt like hell. I did another round of the day treatment. I have to say that the Truth Serum, no matter what, is not for me. It doesn't absorb well at all into my skin (I have oily skin by the way) and my face looks like a grease ball all day long when wear it. I think it even made my "new acne" extra oily and gross. Truth Serum must only work for people with really dry, non-acne prone skin.
So that third night I decided that this was madness. I washed all of this crap off of my face, put on a mask, applied my regular moisturizers and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and already my skin was 50% better. The redness had receded and the "acne" was significantly reduced and was drying up. I still have the marks and a couple of "active" spots left 5 days later but my skin is definitely on the mend. It doesn't hurt anymore. I can't imagine if I had used the entire 7 day supply. I fear it would have ruined my skin permanently. I do see some comments on Sephora by people saying that these products did just that to their skin.
In fairness, I think I know my skin quite well and from what I experienced, I can say that the Sheer Transformation Brightening Moisturizer was the only one of the three products that my skin did not appear to react badly to. I certainly hope that if any of you try these products that you will not have the same experience that I did. If you are still interested in Ole Henriksen products, despite my horrifying tale, I beg of you that you will try a sample first before you buy a jar or bottle of this stuff. None of it is cheap and I cannot believe that they don't have warnings on the packaging that people with acne-prone skin should not use this.
I won't bother to break down a rating for these 3 terrors because I have to give them a 0/10.
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
I got this lip gloss from Ulta awhile back on one of my shopping trips to the U.S. last year. I only opened it a few weeks ago. I know, terrible right? At the time, I thought this was the nicest colour of the butter London lippies, but I think they have a larger range of colours now than they did when I got mine. It was a fairly new product at the time. It costs $18 U.S.
Primrose Hill Picnic is described as:
A punchy, tropical, fuchsia bright pink liquid lipstick.
Now for what I don`t like. This lip gloss tends to get very goopy in the corners of your lips after just a little wear. It`s kind of gross and annoying. I would not recommend this product to be worn on a hot date. The other thing I don`t like are the ingredients. I must have not been on my ``A`` game when I bought this. I think Ulta was closing soon when I grabbed it. The first ingredient is mineral oil (ewwwwww). You can read up on that on google if you like. Aside form being unhealthy, it is one of, if not the cheapest, cosmetic ingredient on the market. I usually make it a practice to avoid products with this ingredient in it period, let alone a product with it as the first ingredient. It also has some other unsavoury ingredients in it that I could go on about but I will spare you an even lengthier tirade than the brief one I have typed below.
Considering the fact that butter LONDON goes out of their way to shout from the rooftops that they don`t use certain questionable ingredients in their nail lacquers, I am frankly shocked that they totally threw caution to the wind and threw any old crap into their lippy products. That`s just my thoughts. If you are not fussed about ingredients, then ignore my rant. Consider this gloss a 8/10 if you really don`t care about ingredients (2 points off for the goopy effects though).
I will not be repurchasing needless to stay.
Packaging: 7/10Pigmentation: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 5/10 (this is tough because the colour and ``gloss`` lasts but it turns to goo in the corners of your lips after awhile)
Price: 8/10 if this was a regular lip gloss with decent ingredients but if you look at the ingredients 1/10 in reality
Travel Worthy: 8/10
Comfortable to Wear: 9/10
Attractiveness of Product: 4/10 (the goopy stuff brings this score down)
Would I buy this again? HELL to the NO
Overall Rating: 4/10
Saturday, 6 September 2014
I got my hands on one the "golden tickets" as I like to call it - a ticket to the Estee Lauder/MAC sale. So I went this morning to it and made out like a bandit. For some of you that don't know, Estee Lauder, who owns MAC, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Origins etc. has a warehouse type of no frills sale a few times a year and the prices are deeply discounted. They don't carry even 20 percent of their regular makeup lines but they do carry enough items of interest and there are always lots of limited edition items and old holiday sets on the cheap. Good stuff. The was my second time and I hope it won't be my last. Getting a ticket is always tricky though and you have to know people.
I dare not add up what all of this would have cost if I had paid full price. There are only three things that I get up early in the morning for in life:
1. money (i.e., work)
3. makeup sales
Hence, today I was at up at the crack of dawn to secure my goodies. The place was a mad house and the line up was mammoth. I might give one or two items that I got away as gifts. In retrospect, I should have bought more as Christmas is coming... Let's get to it.
Dark Angel Nail Lacquer (free gift)
Pinch O' Peach Sheertone Blush
Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish
Romantique Eye Shadow (never heard of it but for $4 what the hell)
Light Plus Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($15 hello!)
Boldly Bare Lip Pencil
Coffee Eye Pencil
Glam Lip and Nail Duo in Envy and Icon
Makeup Brush Cleanser (best makeup cleaner ever...)
Auto Expose Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio
Studio Pop Eye Palette
Smokebox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette
Coach Poppy and Coach Poppy Flower Perfume Pencil
Pisces Compact Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder in 06 Transparent
I had the Smashbox Wondervision palette in my hand for an hour and I put it back as I couldn't remember if the reviews on it were any good. Now I totally regret not getting it. The reviews online seem promising and it was some serious value for your money. As a limited edition palette, I am not likely to see it again. Sigh...
There was also a MAC lip set there that would have been nice as another gift and I left that too. I was trying to show restraint. Silly me.
What am I most excited about is the Smashbox Studio Pop Eye Palette. It looks really good!
Have any of you been to an Estee Lauder/MAC sale?
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
I started to sweat around mid August as I had very little in my empties bin. Luckily, I was able to get a few items added so thank goodness I at least have 6 items to show you! So without further ado, here they are:
1. St. Ives Naturally Soothing Body Lotion in Oatmeal & Shea Butter - Didn't love this one. There are better scents and types of St. Ives body lotion that are better than this one is. I confess I don't like the smell of this one either - it smells too fake for my taste. Yes, it was moisturizing and nourishing, but I wasn't overly impressed. Will not repurchase.
2. Schwarzkopf got2b Guardian Angel - I have had this bottle for maybe 3 or 4 years? Can you believe it? I have used other heat protectors though in that time. I think it works and it is reasonably priced drug store stock. It basically wets up your hair and protects it. The problem? That's all it does. I wouldn't mind if it had some smoothing, anti-frizz or styling properties. I think Bumble and Bumble has something like that now that I simply must try and some other product lines do too. That's what I want. So no, this will not be a repurchase for me, but if you have simple needs, this might be a good product to try. Full review is on my blog.
3. Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner - Old faithful. One of my holy grails. Have gone through countless bottles. Will definitely repurchase. Full review is on my blog.
4. Clarins Everlasting Foundation SPF15 in 109 Wheat - I dug this out of my stash because I have been rocking quite the tan this summer. More so than usual. This colour was always a tad too dark for me. I used to mix it with Clarins 107 (forget the colour name) during the summer months. My regular Estee Lauder foundation was looking a tad too light on me this summer so I finished this bottle off. This is one of my preferred foundations. The look you get is quite natural and I would say it is medium coverage. It feels quite lightweight on the skin too and it has some decent staying powder. I do prefer my Estee Lauder foundation just a touch more. I think that the Clarins foundation is a solid product though and I would repurchase.
5. L'Occitane en Provence Dry Skin Foot Cream - As you can see, I used every last drop. This is an essential product for me during the summer months and year around to be honest. I have used up a few of these and I have already repurchased. It absorbs fast and is effective. I think it is one of, if not the best, foot products on the market.
6. Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry - I used this over the last year. I do prefer the Pomegranate Oil scent/flavour or whatever but this was still a solid product.
So there you have it!