Monday, April 28, 2014

IT Cosmetics Liner Love - Graphite

The lip serum is fantastic... and this next product is equivalent in quality and love but meant for my eyes. Originally I wanted the Graphite eyeliner from Laura Mercier, but when this popped up during the IT Cosmetics spot on Shopping Chanel, I forgot all about LM.
Who can resist something called "Liner Love " :)... There are 6 shades in this collection. Graphite had my credit card the minute it was mentioned; although occasionally I still think about Silk Taupe :)
Now the inside of the lid, which I don't show had a special rubber center, that supposedly prevents the product form drying out... ever. Time will tell, but if true, it is the ideal gel liner.
The perfectly smooth surface before the first dip :)
Below some thick swatches but not product heavy. This liner has excellent color payoff, smooth and even application, and killer staying power. Trust me you'll need something more than just water to get this off.
IT Cosmetics rocks my socks. Fantastic brand, with fantastic products. If you can, give some of them a try and join the IT Cosmetics fan club.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Extreme Black

My first EL mascara. Purchased during a special event at Sephora for 15% off.  I love a sale.

Some label EL packaging as "old lady" like... well either I'm an old lady or they're wrong, because I love their sleek gold packaging and elaborately cursive initials. I think it's sophisticated, a bit lux, and very feminine :)
When I first laid my eyes on it, the brush looked ordinary. A bit conned shaped, but nothing unusual. That is until I brought it near my eye, and thought to myself "wow... that's a big brush". It seriously is longer than what I feel is normal. Sadly I only use one mascara at a time, so I can't compare brush sizes for you. But trust me, this is unusually big brush, and Sephora confirms it, by using the "oversized Brushcomber Extreme™" phrase on their site.
Now here is what the EL promises:
"Lashes seem to multiply, magnify, and grow to extremes with the application of this innovative formula. A trio of high-volume fibers creates audacious, false-lash effects while an advanced vitamin complex conditions. Lustrous color leaves eyes looking brighter, wider, and more seductive than ever. "

Now, I don't feel I've achieved the false-lash effect (2 good coats in my pics), but I do like this mascara a whole lot. It coats the lashes evenly and smoothly, it does a very nice in keeping them mostly separated, it doesn't clump up... and throughout the day it doesn't smudge, budge, or crumble.  The consistency of it is also nice, not too dry, and not too wet... just perfect.
I'd purchase this over BTS any day :) It just fits my needs, expectations, preferences, and wants better.
Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Love - IT Cosmetics CC+ Lip Serum

This is yet another product from IT Cosmetics that I adore. Purchased as a part of a showstopper that aired sometime in March, it has become a daily morning staple after one use. 
As a newbie there is only one shade and it is called Love.
IT Cosmetics is cruelty free but it is not vegan. It's possible that this product is both, when I scanned the ingredient list nothing animalistic jumped out at me :), but as a brand not vegan.
I always forget that "IT" stands for Innovative Technology... the name matches the products.
Packaging is sleek and simple, with just a tiny little band of product peeking out at the top. I expect all of it to rub off, with daily shuffling and use.
The applicator feels narrower and pointier than usual, and it works just fine.
I never used a lip "serum", but let me tell you the color payoff of this is fantastic. Great pigmentation for a shade "that's your lips but better". Extremely flattering and easy to wear. The scent is a barely there toffee??? Detecting and describing scent has never been my forte :)
The best part is the consistency; light and non-sticky. This feels extremely conditioning and moisturizing. My lips hadn't had this kind of absolute comfort and relief in a long time. I've raved about other products that feel great, but this is just something different. This is an almost oil-like product that's not oily at all. It's silky and smooth, and I'm looking forward to more shades.
Lastly, lets not forget the long wear time. This stays on your lips, better than most; 4-5 hours if I don't eat.

So there you have it, yet another IT Cosmetics favorite of mine.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Two days ago I finished this moisturizer, now it's time to put down my thoughts of it. First I must mention that I am a fan of Boscia skincare. Their cleansing oil, is an all time fave of mine; and I've gone through countless bottles. I just knew me and this moisturizer would get along.
The contents of this little jar are supposed to: hydrate, refine, brighten, and clarify your skin, as well as to minimize the look of pores, both instantly and over time.  I don't think my pores are any smaller, but then again I didn't take a before and after photos, so maybe there is a minuscule change...but I doubt it.
The product is protected from exposure to air. It doesn't dry out (not that any of my moisturizers ever did), and is protected from any cross-contamination (but I wash my hands before use, so that is never a concern of mine either). Maybe it denatures if exposed to open air, either way, I like this packaging, it didn't snag, it didn't clog, and amount dispensed was easy to control.
To dispense press down, swipe off, and moisturize; and you'll be moisturizing with ingredients such as (from Sephora site):
-  artichoke leaf extract - improves elasticity to help tighten pore walls
- charcoal - absorbs excess oil and impurities as it detoxifies
- glycolic acid - helps clarify skin and smooth rough texture
- vitamin C - helps brighten skintone and minimize fine lines as it defends from free radical damage
It's a grey-tinted gel moisturizer. Absorbs super fast, and despite it's color it does not give your face a gray cast. It is however a great light moisturizer, and other than the pore reducing claim, I feel it delivers on all it's promises.
Now you only get 1oz of product for $46CAD ($38 USD... got to hate the markup)... so it was very important that no product was left behind. I've read many reviews on it, all agreed that the gel is fantastic, but some claimed that the packaging is faulty, and that too much product is left behind when the dispenser no longer dispenses.

So when the time came, I had my husband pry the container open, to see what was left clinging to the parts... and there were lots of little components.
But I am happy to report, that practically nothing was left in the container. All I had was enough product clinging to this one little part (pictured below), for one more application.
The jar itself was squeaky clean, nothing was left behind.
This was lovely and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes gel type moisturizers.

At this time my curiosity has led me to try something different. But Boscia is a brand that I will make my way back to eventually.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Phyto Phytocitrus Color Protect Radiance Mask

Shortly after getting my hair done at the end of December, I was looking for a thick rich conditioner for a weekly treatment. My search led me to Phyto. The shampoo from this range is fantastic (think fresh cut pink grapefruit... divine), express conditioner very nice, so I decided to splurge on a mask as well.
I like the jar packaging. Don't mind dipping my fingers in.
Extra seal before the product :)
Love the thickness and creaminess of this mask. It does not smells citrusy (if you thought the name implies it does), the scent if very light and creamy.
The mask like the other products from this company I've tried doesn't disappoint. It's nourishing, but it doesn't weigh my hair down. Leaves my fine thin tresses, soft, manageable, with plenty of volume.
And since I have fine hair, I need a tiny bit... meaning it's been a couple of months of regular use and I have more than half the jar left.

Glad I splurged on this... eventually I might do it again :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

In love…

with this look in an HR promo mag my husband brought home. So much so, that I almost, almost convinced myself that I needed the NARS pencil they claimed to have used. But I took two days, calmed my inner makeup junkie down, and rationalized that I have plenty of blues already to achieve a similar look… also reminded myself that in all seriousness I probably have 15 years and who knows how many pounds on this girl, plenty of hormonal backlash on my face, and let’s not forget lack of professional lighting and airbrushing… a little blue pencil is only that, not a magic wand, and it won’t make me look gloriously angelic no matter how hard I try… relax, breathe, improvise, love what you’ve got :)

Still look how clean, simple, and beautiful this look is.
PS. the NARS pencil for those who'd like to know is Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Khao San Road :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Love: Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

I had so many things to show in my March haul video, that I totally forgot to share this item. Reason being, it was no longer part of the haul pile, but used frequently and daily.

To say that I love-crave-need-can’t live without-obsess over, hand cream is an understatement. My hand cream fixation is practically a disorder; and I am adding one more to my group of faves.

I purchased a tube of this shortly after I smeared some of sister’s into my hands. Throughout March I acquired 3 tubes: 1 is on my desk at work, 1 on my coffee table, and 1 I gave to my husband who has hands that need some tlc. Once I use up the tube of Caudalie that’s on my bedside table, this might take its place.

Before I tell you why I find this so fabulous let me grab a few key phrases from the essay stamped on the front of tube:

“Formulated for the driest, most active hands,
…” - I don’t think typing most of the day falls into this category, but I just thought if that’s who this cream is for than it will do wonders for me.

“… blend of select ingredients allows skin to actually draw and absorb water from the air…” - um like I seriously don’t buy into this, but love the claim nonetheless

“… contains blend of botanical oils - Avocado, Eucalyptus and Sesame Seed - as well as natural wax derived from Olive Oil…” - delicious ingredients are hard to ignore

“…helps protect against and repair the appearance of severe dryness caused by heavy industrial work (nope - desk job), manual labor (does carrying around a 7 lb chihuahua count?), neglect (not here), or exposure to harsh elements (yes - Canadian winter was a biatch)…” - match 1, I definitely had to have this :)

As to why I love it:
- texture: thick and rich
- scent: barely discernible eucalyptus, I like it, (it dissipates fast)
- formula: NON GREASY!!!

Seriously it’s the last one that blows my mind. For something that is supposedly aimed as sandpaper hands, this leaves absolutely no residue, no slippery feel, no greasiness, no noting. Once rubbed in, your skin is instantly protected, dryness is relieved, and if you were so inclined you can snap your fingers and actually make a sound.

Now in my previous posts (on body-foot-hand creams/lotions) I make a point of saying that I don’t mind a greasy feeling, but I must admit that this cream has the best of both worlds.

Finally, 150ml tube is around $28CAD… I can’t decide if that’s a lot or not. I feel this price point for hand cream is personal budget sensitive… for the fact that it works and delivers on its promises, I find it reasonable and I know I’ll be buying again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What a find!

I will be showing these off in my March haul video. But I feel this kind of discount deserves an honourable post mention of its own.
 Found these at Banana Republic (Eaton Centre) on March 23rd. At first glance I only noticed the $55 tag, I almost put them back down, but my eyeballs shifted and WOW! $10.97 came into focus... there was no "should I? shouldn't I?" at that point :)
 A tiny part of me thought that it might have been a label mistake, some person playing a joke on an unsuspecting bargain hunter... but no, this pair scanned in at 80% off and now it's mine :)

I like costume jewellery, when it's priced accordingly (case in point). I would not have paid $55 for mass produced plastic and some base metal... but who could resist that sticker price :)