Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tarte Tartelette

I love all the Tartelette tutorials I've seen online (and there are many). I became convinced that 1) I can replicate them, 2) I can't accomplish that with what I already have but need the actual product.
 Top shot the package, bottom shot the palette. Pretty.
Inside all matte neutral shades... very grown up, very sophisticated, very happy with my purchase. I love that each shade has a name, and that it is stamped into the packaging.
 Close up.
Texture of the shadows is fantastic. Soft, blendable, richly pigmented.
First up top row, from left to right: Free Spirit, Force of Nature, Dreamer, Multi-Tasker.
 Second row, from left to right: Caregiver, Natural Beauty, Best Friend, Bombshell.
 Third row, from left to right: Super Mom, Wanderer, Power Player, Fashionista.
 As a bonus a little insert with a couple of looks to start you off.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The No Answer Answer from Sephora...

I appreciate that the response is one giant clickable link to your site... but I would have preferred a simple yes or no.... On the plus side they responded within 24 hours :)

My Email:
Hey Sephora,

Are you discontinuing OCC brand? Majority of lip tars are sold out online, and other than testers, there is barely anything on the shelves in my local Toronto Sephora stores. Why?


Sephora replies with...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Solid Brush Cleaner - Trichomania Shampoo from Lush

So thinking about solid brush cleaners led me to Lush, and their solid shampoos. There is only one that I love the scent of and have tried in the past on my hair; and it is Trichomania (smells like sweet coconut). Formulated to moisturize, I felt it might be really great for brush cleaning as well.
So one Sunday that is what I did. See below.
1. This shampoo lathers easily.
2. It removes makeup grime without any hassle.
3. Rinses out cleanly, leaving no residue behind.
4. As already stated, smells awesome.
5. I paid $13.69 for a 125g chunk ($0.11 per 1 gram). This works out to be quite a lot of savings when comparing to Beauty Blender ($20 for 1oz of soap or $0.71 per 1 gram).

Having said that (and if you read my previous post), I will repurchase Beauty Blender cleanser for my Beauty Blender, for my makeup brushes Lush Trichomania it will be (for now at least).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser

I bought it. It's expensive, $20CAD for 1oz puck, but I had to do it... curiosity won out over reason.

This solid cleanser also comes with a little insert that you can use to scrub your brushes, or Beauty Blender on. It may also be used as a stand to dry your Beauty Blender... so multi-purpose ;) I keep my in the container it came in, keeps my puck from sticking to the bottom.

I have to say that I love the scent... a sort of fresh lavender.

I love the lather, rich and creamy.

And I love how cleanly it rinses out, leaves my brushes and Beauty Blender squeaky clean.

But only after a couple of uses I relegated this product for Beauty Blender cleaning only. It's a small puck and even-though it doesn't melt as quickly as the one made by Sephora, I still felt wasteful using it on brushes as well.

It's expensive, and I love it. I'm hoping that by using it only on my Beauty Blender it will last me a while. Before I repurchase the solid version, I think I will splurge on the liquid blender cleanser first (maybe it cleans better and last longer :)) But the solid version will be my go to product for any trips. Too handy and convenient... I'm a sucker.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Thanks Sephora :)

It's only a month and a half into the new year and I'm already one third there. I don't think keeping my current status will be a challenge for me :)... so I appreciate any offer of savings :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Shu Uemura Faux Eyelashes (perfect for Valentine's Day)

I've had these for a while now... a pretty sizable while. Today is the prefect day to whip them out  and stick them on.  If I succeed I might take a picture of it :)
Happy Valentine's Day !!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Caudalie Lip Conditioner

Lip conditioner is essential in my routine. I need it on my bathroom shelf, and reach for it first thing in the morning and before bed. I usually layer something over it but balm base is a must.

I've tried a few different brands over the years, eventually working my way over to Caudalie, which has a number of products I've tried and loved. (Obsessed with their hand cream) I was looking to add another one to my fave list.

Packaging is a standard twist up tube with a pretty design. Balm has good consistency, glides on easily and evenly. Has a barely there scent and almost no flavor (to my senses). It's a perfect unisex balm because it also does not have a shiny finish, it just makes your lips look healthy.

Now, my husband loves it and is on his 3rd tube... well 3rd and 4th I gave him mine as well. I'm not a fan... and it just comes down to personal likes. Because this balm has a lot of love on Sephora.com. I'm just a girl who likes something heavier. Even though I will cover the balm with gloss or lipstick, it needs to have some substance on its own.

I like a balm that I can wear by itself if I want (even if it's rarely). With Caudalie I couldn't, a few minutes after applying it I felt as if I had nothing on my lips, and I would start to get antsy. So here is the dilemma the product is perfect and lightweight, so lightweight that my lips can't get used to it.

Which means I can't give it thumbs up but my husband can and does. You can make up your own mind :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Conditioner

To compliment my Alterna Red Clover shampoo, I purchased this conditioner. I liked that it is the same brand as the shampoo and it has a near perfect rating on Sephora online. For those that feel it matters this conditioner is free off parabens, sodium chloride, phthalates, and gluten. It claims to help keep hair hydrated, soft, and prevent color-fade. It all read great to me.
I have to say that one of my favorite things about Alterna is their packaging. I just love this twist cap, and the fact that I can store this upside down. The product constantly shifts toward the opening, doesn't leak out, and I feel I use up all of it.
I love the conditioner itself as well. It's white and thick and smells faintly of lemons. It de-tangles, smooths, and conditions :) My hair is fine (and thin if I'm honest), but this doesn't weight it down. Once it air dries volume and bounce is there (fine hair volume :))

I wash my hair daily, but it doesn't feel dry, which leads me to conclude that this conditioner does its part.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Love - Caviar Clinical With Red Clover Growth Complex

This past October my hair started to fall out. Not just a stray here and there as is usual, but massive shower clogging loss. I've experienced it before (someone told me that it happens seasonally to some women), but I panicked just the same. I automatically started to research self help. 

Stumbled upon this set by Alterna on Sephora online and ordered it. Each of the products included is available for purchase separately in Sephora stores, and sometimes I spot the set as well. 

I've tried other Alterna products and loved them, so I felt I had nothing to loose; and promised myself that if I don't see a change I'll seek professional help.
Inside the package a list of potential causes for hair loss:
- hormones and DHT (never heard of DHT)
- excess sebum (don't think so)
- environmental factors (I don't know)
- chemical processing & styling (it was weeks since my last appointment)
- poor nutrition (nope)
- extreme stress (yes there was a bit of that, but I wouldn't classify it as extreme)
- health conditions (don't think I have any)
- medication (not on any)
Included inside:
Shampoo: I wish they made a complimentary conditioner. Love this shampoo. One I get to use it daily, two it smells amazing, three hair is left clean and fluffy. I need/want to repurchase, but the price has been holding be back ($40). Still next week I think I'll give in.

Daily Root & Scalp Stimulator: I'm almost done with my second bottle, and will be purchasing a third. Like the shampoo this smells great (light clover). Each day after I've washed and toweled dried my hair I spritz this on my scalp. It is weightless does not feel sticky or tacky,  and I do feel it helps my scalp and hair.

Weekly Intense Boosting Treatment: Once a week you replace the daily treatment with a weekly one. At the time I took this shot I already used one up. Feels just as light as the daily one (no residue, heaviness, or stickiness). One capsule is more than enough for my scalp. After I used up all 6 I did not repurchase. I might eventually, but I feel after the initial boost all I need is the daily one.
So it early February, hair loss it back to normal... you know a few strays in the shower. But nothing that clogs the drain. I for one am really happy to have found this... and beyond glad that it has paid off; especially the daily stimulator (I can't be without it)... and the shampoo, I want it back in my shower.  The weekly treatment I can do without for now. I might eventually revisit it, but not now.

It worked for me, it might now work for you. It smells awesome, I recommend it, but don't expect miracles :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Sin

This brand has been popping up recently in every beauty/fashion magazine I've flipped through. The brain child of models and sisters Ally (15) and Taylor (17) and their chemical engineer mother. 

The concept: a line of cosmetics to enhance natural beauty. Hence all nudes. Currently the line consists of concealer pencils, lip/cheek pencils, eye pencils, magnetic eye color pencils, mascara, and lip pens. As  you see there is a pencil theme... easy to work with, easy to carry around.  I hear there will be nail polish to compliment the line as well.

I was pleasantly surprised when on a visit to Sephora,  I stumbled upon a whole Nudestix display.  There were a couple of eye color stixs that I found pretty, but not necessarily "must have" worthy. I skipped the concealer pencils entirely and moved onto the lip/cheek pencils because lately I've been on a lip product binge. Out of 8 shades available I found only 1 worthy of my wallet. I guess I'm just not a nude kind of gal.

So let's take a look at the packaging. Well, it's substantial. Kind of bulky come to think of it... but also hard to miss.
Sin was my color of choice. Described as "rose gold" on Sephora website... I don't think I agree with that color description... maybe I'm color blind.
Still... pop the lid and you have a bit of reading material, and a mirror (not the best quality) on the inside of the lid. In case you want to lug your little pencil in it. Or more likely if you want to load up the container with some other makeup products to lug around... or use it as a pencil case? I don't know, mine is collecting dust... I have no use for it.

Once I popped the lid and read the insert, I thought to myself "boring". I for one, cannot live on nudes alone. I like color with an occasional nude here and there.
While the outer packaging is a bit much for yours truly, the pencil itself is kind of fantastic.
A sharpener is included and fits on top of the pencil. So if you take this on the go with you, and it needs to be sharpened you already conveniently have it with you.
See below, cap, sharpener, pencil all assembled together.
The color is gorgeous. Not what I would call "rose gold" but a gorgeous type of rose nevertheless.
I find the formulation quite creamy and smooth, non-sticky and light on the lips. While the company claims that the products are eco-friendly and enriched with shea butter and vitamins, I find the scent more cosmetic/chemical (like an old fashioned lipstick) than natural. It is light and dissipates quite quickly but those sensitive enough will find it unappealing.
All in all I'm happy with my purchase despite the scent and the bulky packaging, because the color and formula are spot on. Glad that I'm glad, because nude/natural beauty doesn't come cheap. Lip/cheek pencils retail for $28 CAD.
Lastly, these are meant to double up as your blush. But I haven't bothered.

Monday, February 2, 2015

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Kelly & Natalie

So these have been out for a while. It seems every beauty blogger has nothing but praise for the packaging and formulation. I tried to turn a blind eye and ignore, but that only lasted for so long. Then one day I spotted swatches of Kelly online, and I was immediately smitten.
Of course once I spotted Kelly, I had to look at every other shade, and Natalie made the short list as well. I don’t get excited over nudes, and I’m uncomfortable with vampy darks… Kelly & Natalie fit my want for colour.
I went to Sephora (both online and in-store) and they don’t have the whole Audacious range, since Kelly isn’t available.

So I ventured to Holt Renfrew and ran into a real Kelly trying on Kelly :) oh how I wish there was a “Lucy”… I would buy it regardless of the shade :) I thought “wow Kelly looks so great on Kelly, but I think it’s too bright for me”, I was ready to pass it by, so ready… but before I did, I asked for Natalie. Swatched them both on my hand and couldn’t decide.

Which led to doing something I never do with lipsticks in store… NEVER. I twisted it all the way up, found an untouched spot on the bullet and tried it on… decision made. I wanted Kelly and my generous husband threw in Natalie as well.
Now when you look at the two shades in the tube side by side they do look similar, but not quite the same. Kelly is definitely the brighter bolder shade; but they are both stunning in their own way.
Swatched bellow Kelly described as coral hibiscus and Natalie described as flamingo :) Just so pretty...
As you probably already know packaging is next to none. Sleek, modern, magnetic, beautiful.
And what can I say about wear and formulation that you haven’t read or heard already. It’s fantastic, creamy, rich, moisturizing, comfortable, lasting, and hand cramp inducing at $37 CAD a pop :)