Saturday, September 29, 2012

a little La Perla haul

I don't know what La Perla hosiery actually retails for, but I do know what La Perla is. So when I spotted these at my local Winners I grabbed all three packs in my size. The sticker on the package indicates that these usually retail for around $40, so their price of $14.99 was a bargain I didn't want to pass up.
I don't wear hosiery very often, but when I do decide to slip these on, I sure hope to feel like a million bucks :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SheaTerra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser

So I am in love with my African Black Soap body cleanser. Now my opinion about SheaTerra Organic's Rose Hip African Black Soap face cleanser and mask.

Unlike the body cleanser which looks like black dirt, this is black tar. Don't be fooled by the name, it smells nothing like roses, it's a lighter version of the ashy body soap smell. Yup ash.

Since this is described as deep pore cleanser, I use this at the end of the day along with my Clarisonic to free my pores from sweat, dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. It does not lather, but it does clean house.

Another lovely cleanser that does not strip my skin, but manages to leave it feeling smooth and grime free. I have acne prone skin (like no joke, I can break out by just looking at french fries :)) African Black soap was made for acne prone types, it heals, disinfects, and combats the nastiness without stripping your face of moisture.

This product can also be used as a mask. Just spread a thin layer on and leave for a few min, then rinse off.

Packaged in a dark brown glass bottle, it's hard to tell how much is left, as well slippery fingers might get you in trouble. But it is so worth it… 2oz set me back around $20 CAD… acne free skin is definitely worth that.

SheaTerra at night, Boscia in the morning, day by day, I am happier and happier with the face that looks back at me in the mirror.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lush: Breath of God Toothy Tabs

This was an impulse purchase at the Lush counter during checkout :) It happens.

This is toothpaste in pill form. It comes in a matchbox sized cardboard pack and the tabs are about the size of an asprin. I appreciate the concept. If these were to spill in my purse, no biggie… a tube of toothpaste (even a travel sized one) on the other hand makes a big mess.

How do these work you may ask? Well you pop one of these in your mouth and break it up with your teeth. DO NOT SWALLOW! Then you stick your toothbrush in your mouth (I wet mine first) and brush away. It foams up really well, doesn't have a gritty feeling, although the tab doesn't melt away and I do spit out pieces of it along with the foam build up. Not pretty, my tab choice being a shade of beige :)

However it is a great toothpaste alternative, and my mouth feels clean and pleasant after using it.

A note on the flavor I chose. There are 7 different ones, I purchased "Breath of God" as I thought it was going to be supper minty, I was wrong. Breath of God has practically no flavor, it is very bland. As I am crushing up the pill with my teeth I tastes a bit salty to me, but it's a very settle salty taste. Once I have brushed and rinsed no residual flavor is left in my mouth.

But that is my personal opinion, and it's possible that I have no taste buds whatsoever. Because I checked the Lush website and according to them Breath of God toothy tabs are a combo of sandalwood, vanilla, and fennel… Their verbatim description:
"A complex and earthy flavor: This tab tastes like a blend of vanilla and black licorice, with a hint of smoky sandalwood."
ummmmmm… so I'm obviously taste challenged :)

I was so used to minty flavored toothpaste, that at the beginning I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But having used up more than half of this pack, I must say that I kind of like it.

I will definitely repurchase toothy tabs… I'm curious about a few flavors:
Ultrablast - intense minty (what I originally wanted :))
Chou Chou... I Love You - fresh lemons and fragrant roses
and
Sparkle - vanilla flavor with a hint of Sicilian lemon and grapefruit

I wonder what I'll taste as I'm crushing them up :)

Lastly toothy tabs are vegan, my pack contained 40 tabs and set me back $3.95 CAD, well worth it I say.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sample: Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm

A sample insert in a magazine led me to test out a BB cream by Maybelline. BB creams are all the rage, and everyone seems to have their own version. I have so much foundation that I just decided not to climb onto that band wagon yet.
If you are one of the unfortunates who hasn't heard about BB creams yet, I suggest you just Google it. You'll be flooded with much better explanations than I could ever write. I'm just going to gloss it over by saying that BB creams claim to be all in one product. The one by Maybelline advertises 8 benefits to your face:
     1. Helps blur the look of imperfections.
     2. Creates a natural looking glow.
     3. Skin looks visibly smoother.
     4. Compliments skin tone.
     5. Lightweight texture.
     6. Hydrates.
     7. Feels fresh.
     8. Oil free.

So free is free, and the sample pack identified the shade as 'Light/Medium' which I was sure is the shade I would have chosen for myself. It has foundation like consistency and no scent. It matched me perfectly and blended in so seamlessly, I was in awe. For a product light in coverage, this evened out my skin tone very well. I was surprised by how much the redness was diminished; and it looked flawless too. With my fingers I was able to smooth it in without any streaks or issues. I did not use a primer, and it did not settle into my pores. My skin looked so pretty right after. It was matiffied but not matte, it had a glow but no oiliness. I was hoping it would last.

Sadly, it didn't. Three hours later I had to blot something fierce, my t-zone glared, and BB cream seemed to have disappeared. So first impressions while very positive did not stand the test of my face :)
This is a nice affordable product, but like with anything else it's not for everybody, definitely not for me. But I'm planning on visiting Sephora soon and scoring a few BB samples from other brands, maybe I'll fare better :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42 PA+++

I don't know why I can't find this foundation in Toronto stores.. we have many Shiseido counters, yet none of them have this in stock.

I first learned of it on youtube a couple of years ago. Couldn't really order it online because I didn't trust the shade guide, and a good thing I didn't. While in Chicago we stopped by Macy's and tested out 4 most likely shades. Now usually I'm 2nd shade in when it comes to foundation, but 20 in this range was way too light, according to my sister it made me look powdery. Number 50 was my best match... crazy. So I definitely recommend swatching and sampling before buying.

Now this is the best summer/beach foundation ever. At this time the best foundation period. I love it. It contains spf, I wear it during the day. Never actually had it photographed at night but I'm thinking it might result in ghost face. However for day wear this stuff is fabulous, "magical" according to the SA, and I agree. It stays put really, really well... is water, sweat, and oil resistant; non-comedogenic, great coverage with a soft matte finish that I really love.

Needs to be shaken up really well before use. I apply it with my fingers and depending on the day, my mood, how rushed I feel, sometimes I go over it with my Beauty Blender of buffing brush.  It came with a little container and a sponge, cute, but I haven't used it.

A 30ml (1 fl oz) container set me back approximately $35USD, well worth it. I wish I picked up a backup.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour - Wet/Dry in Black Karat

A mini baked eye shadow that was a part of a 500 point Laura Mercier Sephora perk. The color is called Black Karat and it is really sparkly and shiny.
The more intense swatch is applied wet the more mellow applied dry. The color is a gorgeous charcoal with very intense gold shimmer. Applied dry it's not very intimidating at all, applied wet it really comes to life. I need to practice my smokey eye with this shade :)
natural light: sunshine
natural light: shade
using flash

Monday, September 17, 2012

Laura Mercier Khol Eye Pencil in Black Gold

This pencil was part of a 500 point bonus perk from Sephora. I like Laura's stuff and so I liked this trade in. The pencil looks gold, applied it becomes beautiful bronze. If you like a bold black line, you'll most likely be disappointed, but if you like a softened look, you might love this as much as I do.
This shimmery gold-black/bronze is very wearable, and extremely pretty as on upper or lower lash line, or on the waterline; however it doesn't last all day if applied on the waterline. It glides on, no tugging or pulling although I do have to go back and forth a few times to get the color dept that I want. Still it has nice lasting power (except not on my waterline) and I am liking it a lot. Tempted to check out other pencils in this range :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fresh Sugar Coral Lip Treatment

I've tried it in Honey, I've tried in in Rose, but Coral is by far my favorite so far. The formula is the same as in the previous two, creamy-soft-smooth-buttery goodness. It's the color that puts this one above the others. I just love it, more punchy than Rose and by far prettier than Honey. This one is definitely worthy of a repurchase... I just hope it's not summer limited edition :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Erno Laszlo Shake-It Tinted Treatment

I don't know where to buy Erno Laszlo products in Toronto, or if they are even available. I've been curious about this line for a little while, specifically this product, so I made sure to pick it up while in Chicago.

Now, it is recommended that you use EL products as a regimen this being step #4, but I didn't want to drop that kind of money. I also figured if this is any good, I will note the effects regardless.

Now what is this product, and why did I buy it. I have oily skin, no primer, foundation, powder that I've tried to date lasts without me having to blot withing 3-4 hours after application. This product is 80% treatment and 20% pigment, and it's supposed to lock in moisture, tighten pores and control excess oil. As you can see the product splits and needs a good shake before use. The clear part is Cosmetic Alcohol that is non-drying to your skin. It evaporates very quickly once applied.

To use shake, soak a cotton pad with the product, swipe onto face right after moisturizing, let dry, and even out any streaks with fingertips. Then if preferred apply some more, or follow with foundation. Of course EL would like you to use theirs, but I use whatever I have on hand that day.

This product comes in a number of shades, mine is #916 Neutral, which I feel is a bit light for my face, but because it applies very very sheer, once I have foundation on it makes no difference.

Does it work? Somewhat. Right after application my face is devoid of any shine, but it doesn't last. Depending on what foundation I use I still need to blot after 4-5 hours of wear. It's a slight improvement, but not enough to have me saying yes to a repurchase. It might work better if I actually used EL step 1-3 prior to step 4, but I'm not tempted to open my wallet.

The good about this product. True to claim it hasn't dried out my skin, and I've had no breakouts from using this. I like it, but don't love it. Will use it up, after all I did pay good money for it, and who knows maybe I'll stumble upon step #4 + foundation combo that will work for me :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

new kicks

My previous pair joined the Tough Mudder sacrificial running shoe mountain... they were beyond saving in my opinion. I've wanted a pair of lime green runners since the Olympics. If you watched any of the track events,  you would have noticed that majority of Olympians wore lime green on their feet.

After my Chicago vacation, I went and I splurged. These Nike Free Run 3.0's are incredibly light and comfortable. Being totally delusional, I feel as if I run faster with these on my feet :)

The word that comes to mind when I put these on is squishy. They are very soft and very light. I think they are Nike's answer to barefoot running trend. In which case I need to review if I need to learn to walk before I learn to run in these :), because I've been just running in them, and it has been fun, no knee or ankle pain, so I'm really happy with my new kicks :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Zoya: Charisma - nail polish swatch (on my toes:))

My toes might not be cute or adorable… and I am also one of the freaks whose second toe appears to be slightly longer then her big toe… but I just had to share my favorite pedi color… Zoya: Charisma.

I paint my own nails, but I don't paint my own toes… ever. I have no answer as to why… I just don't. I get my toes painted by a professional… always.

Two beautifully even coats of this gloriously gorgeous magenta make me wish autumn wasn't just around the corner.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Estée Lauder: Black Iris - nail polish swatch

I bought this polish for one reason and one reason only… I could not find a swatch of it anywhere, and curiosity just got the best of me. Seriously I spent good hour on Aug 15th trolling the web for a beauty blog or any blog that had something other than Estée Lauder's promotional stock photos and the pr description of "Black with an avant-garde violet twist".

However the purchase wasn't exactly hard to make as EL polishes are my fave high-end polishes; and it's not so much because of the formula (which is fabulous by the way), but the packaging. I just freaking love this heavy cube of glass which looks like it's filled with a round ball of polish. If they ever change their packaging, they will probably drop from the number 1 spot in my books :)

Anywho moving on to some swatches of this "avant-garde" twisted polish :)

First the line up of products for the mani; in order of use:
Zoya Anchor - base
Estée Lauder: Black Iris - two coats
I planned to use this accent but didn't so disregard the middle product
Seche Vite - top coat
Zoay Hurry Up - drying drops
 the color in the bottle looks black but upon closer inspection you can see that it is not...
 color, extremely dark... Black Iris is true to name... I don't think it's unique but I love EL formula and packaging so no regrets with this purchase... I only need a steadier hand during application :)
 
  

and a scene from "I'm hearing you, but I am not listening" aka my life...
 Wednesday night, watching tv, sipping a glass of wonderful...
Me so mellow and happy: "Baby, this is a really good drink. What's in it?"
Jay: "It's really simple, pear syrup, vodka, cranberry juice and ice.
Me with disbelief and a bit of outrage: "What?! There is no alcohol in this?!"
Jay giving me a confused look in a steady, slow voice: "As I said, pear syrup, vodka....
Me laughing because I'm an idiot: "oh yeah vodka...."
Jay slowly shakes his head.
end scene.... :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

a-england: Iseult- nail polish swatch

I purchased Iseult along with three other shades a little while ago, when a-england site had a 'free shipping' offer (maybe they still do). Now that I paint my nails every 2-3 days, I am always torn over which shade to choose. Close to 300 bottles accumulated over 3 years makes this choice difficult. I've stopped trying to make up my own mind, and use random.org to make my decision for me :) Iseult was the lucky winner of the last chance draw.
 

Mani products in order of application:

Zoya Anchor - base coat (really quite lovely, I have a few different brands, but this might be the one I repurchase once I use them up)

a-england: Isulet - two coats (I was torn if I should do a 3rd or not, but in the end decided against it… this polish might be a bit sheer, (as in if I had long nails, you'd probably notice a nail line), but it applies so smoothly and evenly that I just decided against it)

Deborah Lipmann: Some Enchanted Evening - accent on my ring finger, this is the perfect complimentary layer to Iseult, these two are meant to be together.

Seche Vite - top coat, is growing on me… plus it's always on sale at Winners these days

Zoya Hurry Up - drying drops

The formula is outstanding… with my first brush stroke I was in love with Iseult. Application was smooth and even, this polish has the perfect viscosity. I hope this is true for the whole color range and not for just this one :)

Color described as "delicate romantic pink with opalescent pearly reflection" is 100% accurate.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Essie: Pink Glove Service - nail polish swatch

Pink Glove Service is a translucent nail polish. More like a top coat with a touch of pink.  When I read the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke, a character named Piper supposedly soaked his nails in rose water every single night, which gave his nails a pinkish tinge.  That's what I thought his nails looked like when I wore Pink Glove Service on its own.  Very subtle, very delicate, but your nails are definitely a bit pinkier.
In the swatches I tried to capture the subtle pink of this polish, by only painting two of my nails and leaving two bare. I had hard time photographing such a light shade, but trust me in person, your nails definitely have a pink tinge to them.
On my nails 3 coats of Pink Glove Service, no base coat, no top coat... This shade is extremely translucent, but I love the healthy supper shiny finish on my nails... Perfect for those days/events when you want a nice polished nail with barely any color.
after I applied the polish on my other digits I put a drop of Zoya Hurry Up on each nail.... I felt as if my nails got just a tad more pink than before...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

oh no!

InkJoy you brought me absolutely no joy when you exploded all over my purse...