Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I'm going to eat way too many sweets today :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes in Black Diamond (101)

Here is a little treat that my husband brought home in July. Boy sometimes it really takes me a while to get around to a post. But I didn't pay for it, so it wasn't really a priority of mine. Plus I don't love it and so didn't feel the urgency I usually do to share my latest obsession.
It's a pretty black pencil with silver shimmer. It's creamy and smooth, and swatches so lovely.
But where does it go throughout the day??? I just don't know. I don't put this on my waterline, but I like to line my upper lash line and about halfway on my bottom one. At the end of the day, there is barely anything left on my bottom one, and the top one looks a bit blotchy, faded, and uneven. I don't rub my eyes, this pencil seems to dissolve into thin air...
So pretty, but I wouldn't spend my own money on it. Glad I didn't.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peter Thomas Roth - Skinstant Mask Magic - Rose Stem Cell, Cucumber Gel Mask, Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

I bought this set when it first came out in August... or rather shall we say when I first spotted it on Sephora shelves (it's possible this came out weeks earlier... I have hard time keeping up). Any-who I don't see the set on the selves anymore, but one can purchase these individually (the jars of course are a tad bigger as well).

The breakdown of these colorful jars:
Pink - Rose Stem Cell - age repair
Green - Cucumber - soothe, hydrate, and detoxify dry, irritated skin
Orange - Pumpkin Enzyme - exfoliates dull, aging, congested skin

I've tried them all, and they're all great in their own way... but I really like only the top two. Rose and Cucumber are gel masks, that feel smooth, cooling, and comfortable. I have left both on for more than the recommended time of 10 minutes and no negative side effects.

The Rose mask does warm up on my skin a tad, and I mean a tad. It never becomes uncomfortable; and when I rinse it off, my skin has a rosy flush for a few minutes.

Cucumber just rocks. I love this stuff. I don't consider my skin to be dry, but it does need soothing, and this does the trick.

Pumpkin is fire in a jar... seriously. 3 minutes is too long for this to sit on my face. It doesn't tingle, it doesn't warm up... it simply burns. So much so, I seriously thought I melted off a couple layers of my skin. It feels granular, and your supposed to exfoliate as you rinse off, but since it felt as if my skin was melting already, I just take this off my face as fast as possible. Then try not to make eye contact with the beet in the mirror.  This is the one I will not repurchase. I don't consider myself to have sensitive skin, I think it's quite hardy actually... but this, this makes me feel like I'm tissue paper... I can't take it, I don't understand who can. 

When I rinse off the rose and cucumber my skin feels healthy. When I rinse off Pumpkin my skin feels like someone took sandpaper to it. Personally I can't recommended it, but at the same time, if you like exfoliating masks, then I suggest a sample first... I'm just not a fan.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Agave Oil Treatment

Watching beauty mavens on youtube leads to shopping... it's a fact. This is one of those purchases. She showed it in one of her hauls, and her description of it made me want to put oil in my hair as well. Hers is long, blonde, and lustrous, mine is fine, short, with more grays by the day :) I had nothing to loose. I placed my order with Sephora.

I've been using this for months now (9), and I'm about half way through the bottle. Eventough the oil is described as light-weight and non-greasy I don't want to take chances, and use a tiny amount each morning on my toweled dried hair along with some Alterna Caviar CC Cream (my hair is fine and thin to begin with, I don't need much). Since then my hair has been soft, and no dry, split ends in sight (I also try to get a trim/cut every 3-4 months).

The oil is clear, and has nice viscosity to it. One thing that I will disagree on with this vlogger, is that she described the scent as coconut. Nope sorry, no coconut for me in this bottle, to me it just smells sweet, like agave syrup. This is great because the scent doesn't compete with anything else I put in my hair, it just sweetens it :)

This is the description on  
"Restore and rejuvenate unmanageable, frizzy hair with the hydrating and color-restoring sugars of the agave plant. Unlike heavy nut oils, this plant extract conditions hair with a light touch, building strength and resiliency, while helping boost vibrancy and color. Other natural botanicals like coconut, vanilla, sunflower, and safflower are blended with madagascar baobab seed oil to nourish and transform hair’s outer layer. "

With near perfect 5-stars, it seems after 283 reviews (at the time I'm writing this) majority agrees with these claims, and so do I.

I should run out of this in another 9 months... I'm not sure if this is what I'll repurchase, I like to switch up my products, but I do know there will be a replacement hair oil on my bathroom shelf.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love - Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Quartet

This is my favorite time of the year. From Oct to New Year's Eve I'm in seasonal bliss. I love the weather (fall to winter), but more than that I love all the holiday sets that makeup companies put out.

There is a few that I would like, but I'm trying to keep a tight rein on my wallet. So far so good :)

One set that I knew I couldn't resist, and I wasn't going to even fight it is the mini caviar eye sticks from Laura Mercier. I already own a one is full sized version called Sandglow, and I absolutely love it. The formula is outstanding, super creamy, beautifully pigmented. It glides on, depositing color evenly, without any tugging, and it blends seamlessly. I highly, highly recommend Laura's caviar sticks... that is if you can justify the price point. Each regular sized one, retails for about $34 CAD.
Now the reason I wanted this set, is for one color... Amethyst, because all of the beauty bloggers and vloggers who I follow who own it, just rave over this shade. The other 3 are a sweet bonus. Made even sweeter by the fact that none of them is Sandglow... so no dupes for moi. Below comparison between the regular and the minis.
The colors included in this mini collection are:
Rose Gold - rosy gold shimmer
Moonlight - metallic champagne beige 
Amethyst - soft mauve with pearl
Cocoa - chocolate brown with bronze pearl
The set cost me $46 CAD (with taxes $52 CAD)... a splurge for sure. But supposedly the actual value is $74 CAD... so I couldn't help but do some math.

A single full sized caviar stick costs $34 and you get 0.05oz of product.
The mini set gives you 0.03oz of product in each stick (a whopping 0.12 oz all together :)) for $46.

So each 0.01oz in a full sized version sets you back $6.80, and the same amount in the mini set works out to be only $3.83. Which means the mini set is a deal for sure, as long as you like and will use at least 3 out of the 4 shades.

I don't see how you wouldn't, see below for how gorgeous these are. On the left the shade blended out, on the right in it's full pigmented glory. Now I understand the love affair everyone seems to have with Amethyst...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's OK - Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara

My original thought was to repurchase Smokey Eye by Bobbi Brown, but Penelope Cruz ads swayed me just a tad and I decided to  finish of 2014 with Grandiôse.
As I've mentioned in my videos, I purchase 4 mascaras a year. On schedule every 3 months I replace the old with something new. This is how I justify a mascara splurge, and tend to stay away from drugstore brands.

Now Grandiôse has received a  bit of hype and press, especially within the beauty community, and so I wanted to experience it for myself.

This is one of the pricey ones, $35 CAD and I got mine at Sephora.

First off the packaging is gorgeous. I'm of the same opinion as a certain beauty maven who compared it to a nail polish bottle. I do agree, it does look like something polish could be housed in. Beautiful shape, from the black Lancôme rose in the cap to the gently rounded belly.

 But its what's inside that really matters. First of, the wand and brush. The "swan neck" shaped wand is fantastic; design genius. When you hold the brush near your eye, the angle of the wand allows the brush to hit your lashes at the perfect angle, allowing you to easily sweep the formula from roots to tips, from inner corner to outer corner.

But the formula and the brush itself leave me wanting. Combined they're not really good at separating the lashes. In the first days the formula was a tad too wet for my liking, and it was a struggle not to end up with spidey lashes. It's not a look that works for me or one that I like. Now after three weeks of use, the formula is less wet, the clumping easier to manage, but it's still a daily morning struggle. I have mascara on my eyes, but I don't feel as if this has added any volume, length, and it definitely fails at separation.

I will not repurchase and I would not recommend it. At $35 a pop, it's not something that I'll throw away either; it would eat away at me to waste money like that. I take comfort in the fact that in just a little bit over two months, I'll be going back to a favorite. Because this mascara isn't horrible by any means, it's just not anything fantastic either... and at that price point it should at least come close.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Love - Alterna Caviar CC Cream - 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-in Hair Perfector

So first I got that little sample (left) by trading in some points at Sephora. You can see how much of it I've used up before I decided I needed the full sized version; and the Allure magazine agrees by stamping its red sticker on the tube.

I haven't gotten onto the CC cream for the face bandwagon, but if there is one for hair, I'm all for it. Daily, I scrunch some of this into my damp hair. It adds a little bit of definition without any weight or crunch. My hair feels soft and conditioned, although I must point out that I mix this in with a bit of oil that I'll talk about soon. So it might not be all because of the CC cream, but I'll still re-purchase it.

Alterna claims that is has 10 benefits, and here they are:
1. Moisture - sure I'll agree with this one. I color my hair every 3 months or so, and wash it daily. It doesn't feel like straw to the touch.
2. Shine - not as much as I like.
3. Smoothness - my hair is naturally wavy, and I don't bother to straighten it. So can't really comment on this claim, but my hair isn't as frizzy as it is without this.
4. Softness - yup, a definite yup.
5. UV Protection - I'm not a sun worshiper, but if I ever go on another beach vacation, I'll pack this along.
6. Manageability - I feel as if Alterna is straining to reach 10. But ok, I do find my hair manageable :)
7. Strength - maybe after a few more tubes. My hair is thin and fine, so I'll buy into this claim because I need/want to .
8. Anti-Breakage - true in my case. If my hair is on strike it just falls out, it doesn't bother breaking first :)
9. Heat Protection - as the only time my hair experiences a blowdrier is at the salon. This claim doesn't play much of a role in the day-to-day life of my hair. Out of laziness and lack of motivation/skill I let my hair air dry.
10. Light Hold - yes totally agree with this.

Lastly and I'm making this an honorary benefit #11, this has a lovely, simply lovely light lemony scent... so fresh... citrus rules :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

In the beginning I did not understand the purpose of wipes, then I did and I purchased regularly, then I found them a waste of money and stopped... and you guessed it they're back in my life once again.  What can I say.... I'm a face wipe waffler.

Picked these up at Murale, because strangely I happen to confuse REN and Skyn Iceland... I don't know, but something happens in my brain. I want REN, I see Skyn and I buy Skyn thinking I bought REN... can't even explain it... Does REN even make face wipes? :)

Anywho I bought these and I've used them. These wipes are basically sink and soap on the go. Take a sheet out, rub the sides together between your hands, and a lather will form. Then sweep it over your face until you feel clean and refreshed. No water needed, no rinsing.

Some great ingredients in there like, white willow bark, cucumber extract, Icelandic kelp, alpha bisabolol, and Icelandic Glacial Water.

I like these for their ease of use, and efficiency. My face feels clean and comfortable after use; no tightness, no dryness, and no sticky or greasy residue.

What I'm having hard time getting used to is the scent. It's not unpleasant, but it is very strong. That's coming from a person who likes her fragrance. I could get used to the initial perfume punch in the nose, but the thing is, the scent lingers for hours on your skin. I suppose I could help the issue by rinsing my face after use, but then where would the convenience of these wipes be. So I don't, and I put up with it, and whine about it :)

$16 CAD for 30 sheets (I believe).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love - Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Matifying Fluid

Picked this up sometime in May I think.... but now it's mid-October and my tube is near it's end. Time I told you a little bit about it.

My face tends to be more oily than combination, and that shine/oil can get quite annoying especially during summer months. That's when I did some research and decided to purchase this lotion. Now maybe I should have told you about this then, but there will be another summer in about 9 months :)

Simply put, I love this lotion. True to name this is matifying. If you like a dewy/glowy finish from your face lotion, then pass this by. It would be a complete opposite of what you'd like.

It feels light, and smooth, and absorbs very quickly, resulting in the best matte finish ever. Of course after a few hours, oil wins again, but that is my face.

A light refreshing scent, perks me right up when I smooth this on first thing in the morning. It gave me the matte finish I love, as well as the moisturize, which weirdly even oily type girls need. 

Harsh Canadian winter weather is approaching. Once I use this up, I won't be repurchasing right away, but when summer rolls around if nothing else has caught my eye, this might make a re-appearance. 

Caudalie thanks for another great product... loving this brand.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian Beauties :)

Hope your long weekend was as beautiful and delicious as mine :)
 This is the apple pie I contributed to our family feast... love me some apple pie :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love - Gehwol Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream

So I have another foot favourite. This time from Gewhol, a brand I used to favour above all others a few years back; when if a foot cream/lotion didn't smell like peppermint and pine I wasn't interested. 

Then I branched out, and so did my scent preferences.  

And one day I spotted this on a spa shelf and couldn't resist. The brand was familiar but the product itself was new to me. 
Boy, am I glad I bought this. The scent alone is worth the purchase; delicate and sweet. I wouldn't mind if this came in a 1L body lotion tub. Texture is rich and balmy. My soles feel instantly nourished, softened, and protected. 
This is one of those "so glad I bought it" products. I'll be rotating this into my repurchase list.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Project Make a Dent #1 - Update #2

So in March I joined this challenge going around the blogosphere: trying to use up products in my stash while not completely giving up acquiring new stuff or playing with everything else that I own.

I chose these six from my collection at the beginning of the year, and I've been doing my best to use them up.
Here is a picture of where I stood in March...
 And here is an October state of things...
As you can see one product is missing from the latest update.  Pür Minerals primer is all gone, and I've made serious headway everywhere else. It seems Laura Mercier's concealer and powder will be next to go. Then my Shiseido quad, because my love with purple is going strong this fall. But eventhough I feel I've made serious headway with Nars Orgasm and Anastasia's brow palette... those two will be around for a while... I think I might grow tired of them first.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Love - Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

I think I found my favourite mascara. I don’t know how long this love affair will last, but I’m already contemplating a repurchase.

Bobbi Brown mascaras were not on my radar. I had no plans to purchase one. But after 2 weeks of trying to get used to my 3rd quarter choice, and hating it, I reached into my sample stash and came up with this.

I did not have any high hopes for it, I was just wanting it to be better then this disappointment. Well after the first drag through my lashes, I was smitten.

Description on informed me that this is a kohl-pigmented mascara ideal for smokey eye looks (I suppose the name should have clued me in). I don’t wear a smokey eye very often, if I do it’s a very natural one, or an accidental one. So while maybe marketed for a dramatic eye look, I like this for my everyday.

I love the creamy formulation of this mascara. It applies without clumping, and after 2 coats my lashes are nicely separated. I don’t experience any smudging or flaking throughout the day, and after it dries down my lashes still feel soft to the touch.

I absolutely love this stuff, don’t love the price ($37 CAD with taxes… one of the most expensive for me), but still I think this is the one I want to go back to.

I read some reviews, in which the reviewers totally disagreed with everything I wrote. Glad that happened after I gave it a try, otherwise this personal gem might have never been found.

I'm sorry I don't have any actual lash shots for you... but somehow I never got around to it. I might update this post in 2015 when I make my re-purchase. Although I don't know if I actualy have any sway in any of your decisions :) Bobbi Brown counters (at least the one at Holt Renfrew on Bloor in Toronto) has little samples; ask for one... $37 is a lot to pay for something you might hate :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love - Aveda's Green Science™ Friming Eye Creme

I've been using this religiously every single night for approximately 3 months now. My little pot is more than 3/4 gone so it's about time I threw my 2 cents about it out to the internet. (Speaking of cents... we no longer have them in Canada, seems they were more expensive to make than their actual worth :))

But about the cream. I had a coupon for Aveda that needed using up before it expired. Eye cream is a daily staple of mine that I also love to switch up a lot, and so I gave Aveda's Green Science™ Firming Eye Creme a  go. I must say this was a good un-researched buy on my part.
From the marketing material.

"Moisturizes, helps smooth fine lines and reduces appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

Lady's thistle, organic argan oil and cactus formula helps to moisturize skin and smooth fine lines. Peptides and plant-derived buckwheat wax help to minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Organic argan oil*, one of the key ingredients in Aveda's  Green Science™ skin care, comes from the nut of the fruit of the argan tree, which grows in Morocco."

Sounds good, doesn't it... This is a pale green cream with a barely there scent, that I can only describe as green as well. It is extremely smooth and soft. Taps in quickly without any greasy residue. The best part... this cream can also be used on your eyelids, which I do.
Do I look younger? Well... first thing in the morning I'd say yes.. but it might be because I'm still sleepy while gazing at myself in the mirror, in which I see smooth orbital skin. As the day progresses, fine lines seem to accumulate around the eye area... although dare I hope not at the rate they would have without this cream :) At the end of the day I discern a fine criss-cross mesh that I erase overnight with the  Green Science™ ... and the cycle continues :)

Price? Approx. $50 CAD, to some expensive, to some affordable, to me somewhere in-between... I'd pay it again.