Saturday, March 29, 2014

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

This winter in Toronto is definitely one to remember. I experienced my first ice storm that left my neighbourhood without power for a few days. It is now the end of March and we are all still waiting for warm Spring weather to take over! 

The cold, dry weather has taken a toll on my skin. In my previous post I mentioned that I started using the MAC Studio Finish concealer. Although I still like it, my skin was getting way too dry to use the concealer. 

I heard a lot of hype over the MAC Pro Longwear concealer so I decided to opt for this concealer to help me out. 

Product: Compared to the Studio Finish concealer, this concealer has a liquid foundation consistency. I find the concealer to be very pigmented, so you literally do not need to use a lot. (Too bad the pump gives you more than you need...more on that later). I find it very hydrating, which is perfect for my dry skin during the duration of the winter. Personally, I do not use it under my eyes. However, I have read a lot of people talking about how it works well for that purpose. Probably because it is hydrating. My skin is sensitive to a lot of products I use on my face. Thankfully, this concealer has not broken me out whatsoever. It serves its purpose to conceal what it needs to.

Packaging: The downfall of this product is hands down the pump. Even if you carefully try to squeeze the pump to dispense a tiny amount of concealer, a whole blob will come out. I think squeezing the concealer onto the back of my hand is wasteful because I won't use the whole amount. Therefore, I have found a solution that has made the process a lot easier.I have quite a few little Clinique sampling jars so I decided to sanitize them and use them to store the excess amount of concealer that pumps out of the packaging. With one pump I can usually get two applications now.

Application: I like to use the Sigma P80 brush (flat precision brush) to apply the concealer on spots on my face. I find using this brush gives me enough precision and it also blends the concealer enough so that there are no harsh edges. To give my skin that extra moisture and a more dewy finish, I have also been enjoying using a spritz of Fix + to set the concealer. Doing this extra step helps my concealer last all day. I like the small travel size Fix + bottles ($12 CAD) because they are so convenient to throw in your makeup bag. The smell of the Fix + is also really nice and refreshing!

Final Thoughts: The MAC Pro Longwear concealer is definitely more on the pricey side retailing for $23 CAD. However, because you only need the tiniest amount to cover what you want, it will last a long time. That is, of course, if you do not waste the excess product that comes out of the pump. If you do not have any sampling jars lying around your house, you should invest in some because they will come in very handy. Overall, for this dry Canadian weather I have really enjoyed using this concealer. I will have to see how it holds up in the spring and summer...whenever the winter decides to leave. 


Friday, January 31, 2014

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

In the spotlight today we have the MAC Studio Finish Concealer.

I was in the market for a new concealer so I decided to go to MAC to try out the MAC Studio Finish Concealer.I typically use drugstore concealers, (e.g. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind line and Maybelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer), but I wanted to try something that was a little more higher end and closer to my skin tone.

You may have a hard time trying to pick a shade when it comes to buying drugstore concealers and foundations. You usually have to do a trial and error test and just buy the makeup hoping that it will be your perfect shade. The shade ranges at the drugstore are also usually limited, so you may not be able to get an exact match for your skin tone. On the other hand, with higher end makeup, it is nice to have professionals help you find your match. 

For reference I am an NW20.

Product: This concealer is quite thick and creamy. If you have dry skin I would recommend that you make sure that you really moisturize your skin before using it. Otherwise, the concealer will accentuate your dry patches and make them more noticeable. 

Purpose: This concealer is versatile when it comes to what it can be used for. 
1. The obvious purpose is to conceal any blemishes, redness, or any other imperfections you want to cover.
2. You can also use this concealer to cover any dark circles you may have as it counteracts any purple or blue undertones. 
3. At the same time, this concealer can also serve the purpose as a highligher. So, whether you put it under your eyes or on the bridge of your nose you can brighten up those areas.
4. One of my favourite uses for this concealer is to clean up the edges of my eye shadow. For example, when I am doing smokey eyes I tend to blend the outer corner too far down, so I like to sweep the concealer to create the angle that I want with my shadow.

Packaging: The main difference between this concealer and my routinely used concealers is the packaging. The concealers I use are typically in a tube form that includes some type of applicator attached. The concealer itself is not exposed. However, with the MAC Studio Finish Concealer the product comes in a little compact (similar to the MAC eyeshadow containers). Opening the lid of the container exposes the concealer. You can either use your finger or a brush to apply the concealer to the areas you want to cover. Personally, I prefer using a brush just because I feel it is more sanitary.

Application: My favourite brush to use for applying this concealer is the MAC 217.

I find using the MAC 217 gives me the most flawless, airbrushed application. I just dip the tip of the brush into the concealer and then softly blend it onto the areas I want to conceal. To make sure that I have the concealer completely blended into my skin I like to pat my finger on the areas I covered, in order to warm up the product so it melts into my skin. This gives the most natural application while still giving me the coverage I desire.

Final Thoughts: This concealer has very good coverage. The packaging is really practical and you can easily throw it in your bag to touch up if necessary. If you cannot get over the fact that you may have to dip your finger in the product, just remember that you can use a brush as well. Not that I will have to any time soon, but when it comes to finishing this shade of concealer, I will definitely repurchase. Other than that, I will probably buy another shade in the summer when I am more tan.

You can buy the concealer at MAC counters or online for $22 CAD.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

First and foremost, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

When it comes to makeup application, there's nothing worse than looking like a cake face. 

This 'look' can be achieved by layering on foundation and topping it off with a face powder.  To make matters worse, your skin condition can make your makeup application less smooth. For example, if you have dry skin, your foundation and powder can cling on to your dry patches making them more noticeable. Even if you have oily skin, your makeup can literally slide off your face. Ultimately these looks are NOT cute.

I have been using a type of facial mist to help my makeup application during these cold winter days. For the most part, my skin is oily, but during the colder months I tend to get dry areas as well. To help combat the effects of the cold weather on my skin, I've been using the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.
I bought the 1oz bottle for $15CAN because I find it more convenient to throw in my bag when I am traveling. The 4oz is $35CAN which is much cheaper, so I recommend purchasing that bottle if you are someone who wears makeup everyday. 

This stuff is amazing! The first step I do is moisturize my face. Then I apply my makeup and finish it off with a few spritzes of the spray. The spray gives my face a nice dewy finish and literally camouflages any dry areas I may have. I like to take the extra step and go over my face with a flat top brush and lightly pat the spray into my face to set it. My makeup literally lasts all day by using this product. I also like the refreshing feel the spray gives when I spritz it on my face :) .

I like the fact that a lot of thought went into designing this packaging because it is sleek and secure. There are two lids (a clear cap and the purple cap) to make sure that your product does not spill. The small bottle is also the perfect size to throw in your makeup bag. Overall, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray has become a staple in my makeup application.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LORAC Pro Palette

You know that saying “a girl can never have too many shoes”? Well, to the average girl, that saying can be applied to many other things like clothes and jewelry as well. When it comes to make-up though, I think there is a limit to how much make-up a girl should own at once. After all, cosmetics do expire.

I am completely guilty of buying make-up that I usually do not really need. There have been many times I have given in to the hype of new products. In fact, I have purchased products that end up sitting in my drawers because I end up forgetting about them after my excitement wears off. Today, I have learned to limit myself to the things I will use on a regular basis, making it worthwhile to purchase those products. One of those things is the LORAC Pro Palette.   

So often, new eye shadow palettes are released with new bold colours and everybody is so quick to jump on the bandwagon to buy those palettes to add to their collection. The only thing is, many times those palettes end up being pretty things to look at and do not get used very much.

The LORAC Pro Palette is definitely one of those palettes that a girl who enjoys wearing eyeshadow should own. The palette comes with 16 eyeshadows and retails for $55 CDN (compared to 12 eyeshadows for $62 CND for the Urban Decay Naked Palettes). My favourite part about the palette is that it comes with 8 matte shades as well as 8 shimmery shades. I think the matte shades alone make this palette essential because they can be used to achieve any look for day or night. The palette also comes with a travel-sized Behind the Scenes Primer that will help your shadows last longer and appear their true colour.

The top row of includes all matte shades: 
white- a matte white. Good for highlighting under your brow bone   
cream- a matte beige, skin-tone colour. Good for highlighting under your brow bone
 taupe- a beautiful matte medium-brown, perfect for using in the crease and as a transition colour 
light pink- a matte pale pink 
mauve- a matte pink-brown with purple undertones. Another beautiful crease colour 
sable- a matte dark chocolate brown, perfect for darkening the outer v 
espresso- a matte deep coffee-bean brown, perfect for darkening the outer v 
black- a matte black. A staple in any palette- can be used as liner, darkening the crease, outer v

The bottom row includes all the beautiful shimmery shades: 
nude- a shimmery champagne beige. Looks beautiful in the inner corners or as a lid colour 
champagne- a shimmery peachy-pink beige. Also, beautiful in the inner corners or as a lid colour 
gold- a shimmery golden copper 
light bronze-  a shimmery light bronze 
pewter- a shimmery chocolate brown colour with gold undertones 
garnet- a shimmery copper with red undertones. One of my favourite lid colours! 
deep purple- a shimmery deep plum with brown undertones 
slate-  a shimmery charcoal gray with a blue undertone  

I love the array of colours in the Pro Palette because you can use various shades as highlight colours, lid colours, and crease colours. You can easily transition your day look to a night look by using the deeper colours in the palette.

I ordered my Palette from the Sephora website for $35 with a $20 off coupon code I had for the month of December. I was willing to pay full price for it, but hey! A deal is a deal! ;)

I have one word to describe this palette- essential.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two-Tier Velvet Jewellry Display

I have found my new favourite store. 

No, it's not a clothing store. It's a Canadian store that sells a variety of organizational and storage products. The store is called Solutions- Your Organized Living Store. 

I love finding creative ways to store and display things around my house. A few months ago I purchased a double-sided jewelry organizer from Target that looks like a little black dress (See the post here .) I mainly use it to store my earrings, so I wanted to find something to display my bangles, bracelets and watches.

I went to Solutions and I found the perfect display. It's called the Two Tier Jewellery Organizer

The display has a beautiful velvet finishing with two levels. You can use the top to display your necklaces as well as your bracelets. I love how chic the display looks on my vanity!

The organizer retails for $16.99. I purchased mine for $13.99 on sale. I definitely think the display is worth every penny. 

The only downside is that I foresee myself spending more money on new bangles and watches so that I can put them on display ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tarte Pure Delights LipSurgence Lip Set

Today’s blog post is going to be about the second Holiday set that I purchased from Sephora’s VIB sale.

My favourite type of lip product comes in the jumbo crayon form. Ever since I tried Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, I’ve gravitated towards other similar products. When I saw Tarte’s Pure Delights LipSurgence Lip Set, I thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to give these jumbo lip crayons a try. I have read plenty of raving reviews about these lip tints so I knew this was something to try!

This particular set comes with 8 mini LipSurgence (4 regular LipSurgence lip tints and 4 Matte LipSurgence Matte lip tints). I don’t usually finish full size lip products, other than lip balms, so I actually quite like the fact that these products are in mini form. The packaging also makes them easy for travel.

Here is a description of each of the colours:

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tints

The original Tarte Lip Tints are very moisturizing. The colours apply very smoothly and give a nice sheen to the lips. Compared to the Matte Lip Tints they are more sheer.

Believe- Coral Red

Grateful- Nude

Lovely- Baby Pink

Enamored- Cool Red

Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tints

My main concern about the Matte Lip tints was that they would be drying. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they are still hydrating. What I like most about the Matte Lip Tints is the fact that they are more pigmented and leave more of a stain on your lips as the colour wears off.

Glee- Ripe red (watermelon)

Generous- Pink Nude

Destined- Deep Berry (Raspberry)

Cheerful- Mid-tone Warm Pink 

Final thought- I really enjoy this Tarte lip set because of all the beautiful shades it comes with. My favourite thing about the Lip Tints is how easy they are to apply to the lips. They are forgiving in application because you do not have to worry about looking in the mirror to apply them.

This set retails for $41CND and $34U.S from Sephora.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set 2013

During this time of year, Sephora has its annual VIB sale where VIB members can get 20% off their purchase. This is also the time of year that Holiday gift sets start coming out. 

I love buying Holiday gift sets because you usually end up getting a great value that also allows you to try out a variety of products at once. For this year's VIB sale I ended up purchasing two Holiday gift sets. This blog post will be reviewing the first set that I bought- The Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set.

The Lip Glaze Set comes in a card board box that opens up like an envelope.

Inside the box, you will find three separate plastic packages that each container three lip glazes. What I like about the set is that you can give the whole box as a gift to one person, or give the individual plastic packages as stocking stuffers to three different people. If you are giving the lip glazes as stocking stuffers you can even write on the gift tags as shown above in the picture.  

The set comes with 9 different lip glazes total. The colours are grouped as reds, pinks, and nudes. 

The red set comes with the shades Melon, Persimmon, and Cranberry.

From top to bottom, the red trio comes with melon (coral red), persimmon (bright red), cranberry (candy apple red with shimmer).

From bottom to top, the pink trio comes with the shades Dazzle-berry (bold wine red with shimmer), Wildberry (sheer berry) and Strawberry Cream (milky pink). 

From bottom to top, the nude/neutral trio comes with the shades Amaretto (milky nude pink), Kaleido-scope (sheer pink with glitter) and Passion Fruit (barbie pink with shimmer).

You can purchase this value set of Stila Lip Glazes for $34 CND or $28 U.S. from Sephora.