Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dream Team - For Legs! With EOS, Vichy and Bath & Body Works

A few years ago, I picked up the EOS Shaving Cream at Shoppers on super sale. It was cheap, vanilla scented, and most importantly, wasn't the Gillette crap that always irritated my skin. And I LOVED it. I don't know how or why, but this shaving cream was incredibly moisturizing, and somehow saved my legs from the usual razor burn. I use up the bottle (proof here) and never repurchased. I guess I had it in my mind that Shoppers stopped carrying it, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it on their shelves since. And since I had mostly switched to waxing (due to always having razor burn) I didn't see the point of repurchasing the shaving cream. Needless to say, when I was offered the chance to give the EOS Shaving Cream another try, I was excited.

The EOS Shave Cream* I was sent to review is unscented and meant for sensitive skin. This is by far my favorite shaving cream ever. It makes shaving a breeze. After applying this to my legs, my razor glides easily on my skin, something that never really works with other shaving creams. Have you ever tried the old trick of putting hair conditioner on your legs to shave? Well, this shaving cream sort of has that texture, except it's ticker. And moisturizing! And I get no pesky bumps after shaving! Anyway, I'm smitten and will certainly repurchase it this time around.

So I've mentioned razor burn right? For some reason, my legs are extremely sensitive to any moisturizer after shaving and tends to make any minor razor burn much worst. The only thing that's helped is the lovely Vichy Nutriextra Extraordinary Oil* which I reviewed a few months back. I'm still loving this product and it's my go-to if I want extra smooth legs. I usually apply this in the evening and wake up to smooth legs. If I want an extra treat before bed, I apply the Bath & Body Works Lavender Vanilla Body Lotion. The smell is just absolutely heavenly and I love the smell of it before going to bed. I also find it to be quite moisturizing, and for a strongly scented product, it's non-irritating to my skin.

There we go! This is my leg shaving routine! Are you this picky about your shaving and moisturizing products?

* I have received these products for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clarins Joli Rouge in 737 Spicy Cinnamon - Review & Swatches

Clarins make some of my favorite lipsticks. I'm already a fan of their Joli Rouge and this fall offering is no exception. The packaging of the Joli Rouge is gorgeous. I love the weight silver metal and that the shade color is reflected on the bottom - it's just so fun to even photograph it!

The Clarins Joli Rouge is meant to have a long-wearing, but moisturizing formula. I've reviewed the shade Baby Rose on the blog before in case you're interested.

Swatched heavily on my hand.

I wasn't sure I'd like Spicy Cinnamon at first - the color is not something I'd pick out for myself, mostly because it looks a bit brown in the bullet. It even looks quite brown on my hand swatch! However, upon application on my lips I was smitten. Just look a this perfect autumn shade!

Please excuse the post-work face.

I'd describe the color as a rusty warm (shimmerless) red. Somehow, even if warm colors don't generally suit my skin tone, I think it's pretty flattering! I can see myself wearing this with a simple cat eye liner and a taupe blush. It's quite a unique shade - I definitely don't have anything like it in my collection. It kind of reminds me of NARS Autumn Leaves from last year's fall collection, except warmer and less shimmery. I don't have it to compare sadly!

The formula of the Joli Rouge is moisturizing, and applies quite glossy. However, because of this formula, it's not very long lasting, which is something this lipstick claims to be. It lost some points here. However, I do appreciate that the formula wears off evenly and doesn't leave a stain of color around my lips. Personally, I almost never look for long wearing lipsticks anyway, so it didn't bother me that this lipstick didn't wear too long. I'd rather re-apply than get the dry-lip effect of most long-wearing lipsticks, ya know?

I'll definitely keep this baby in my fall lip stash along with my berries and reds! I think it's a nice twist on the usual colors you see for fall. Are you into these types of lipstick colors?

* I have received this product for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Need a berry gloss for fall? Look no further than Almay's Liquid Lip Balm in Just Plum Good

When the Almay Liquid Lip Balm hit the beauty blogosphere, I didn't think much of them. They were getting rave reviews, but lip glosses weren't really on my radar at that point, so I didn't bother to check them off in the store. But as the cooler weather rolls in, I'm been thinking more and more about fall colors, and more specifically, berry lips. I had pretty good justification buying a berry lip gloss - I have almost no berry lip colors in my collection. That's really weird coming from a beauty blogger/makeup addict, but I guess I just never gravitate towards those types of colors. However, when I swatched Almay's Just Plum Good on my hand at Shoppers Drug Mart, I was in love. The shade was exactly what I was looking for, and the formula seemed nice upon being swatched so I walked out with it. After a couple weeks of continuous use, here are my thoughts on it!

What I like the most about this gloss is that it's really really nourishing and moisturizing. I'm not sure I've ever used a lip gloss that has had the same effect on my lips (the Buxom glosses being the closest).

Swatched on my hand, picture taken in daylight.

When I say this lip gloss is moisturizing, I'm not kidding. It's as moisturizing, if not MORE than a lot of my lip conditioners. I might be the only one experiencing this with these lip glosses, but I'll sometimes apply Just Plum Good simply because my lips are dry. And they actually feel moisturized, not like there's a layer of goop on top of them! After having worn this lipgloss for a week, I didn't feel like it ever left my lips dry after wearing off. Some lip products seem to dry my lips after continuous use (YSL Glossy Stains for example) but it was not the case with Almay's Liquid Lip Balm.

Almay's Liquid Lip Balms' texture is just that - a liquid lip balm. I think the name of it describes the product accurately - it's not sticky like most conventional glosses, but does have a thicker texture like them, and it dries up to a balmy finish after a few hours on the lips. It's not terribly thin on the lips, but very comfortable. I love the texture and I can't really recall anything in my collection that has a similar finish other than maybe, maybe something like the Clinique Chubby sticks, although those a bit lighter in texture, and feel drier on the lips once they've worn off.

Another great thing about this gloss is that the color is amazing. It has quite a good amount of pigmentation and doesn't leave a streaky application which I find can be the case in some lip glosses. Just Plum Good is the perfect shade for my skin tone as plums that are too purple tend to make me look a bit ill. I also find it goes with any makeup - from almost bare skin to a light smokey eye!

This gloss has taken permanent residence in my handbag, and has since been joined by another shade (Apple a Day), and will I'm sure be joined by more (Cantaloupe Cream?). If you haven't checked these out yet, I highly recommend you do! If you're not usually a fan of glosses, don't let this put your off these. The texture is so different than all my other glosses, you might actually like the Almay Liquid Lip Balms.

Have you tried the Almay Liquid Lip Balms? Which shade should I try next?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The New Make Up For Ever Artisan Brush Collection - Up Close & Personal Review of Blush Brush #160

Makeup brushes are an interesting breed. A good one is hard to find and needs to hit all the important characteristics - softness, durability, the ability to hold its shape after washing, are all key elements to good brush. I'm also a firm believer that good makeup brushes will help you in makeup application. There's no way (well, maybe with a lot of time on your hands) that you can create a beautiful smokey eye with a sponge applicator eyeshadow brush.

When I first heard that Make Up For Ever was coming out with a new brush collection, I was ecstatic. First off, the collection contains 76 brushes. 76! To get a better idea of what you're in for, take a look at their selection on the Sephora website - there's a brush for everything! There's even a paintbrush. Seriously. Each brush went through a 5 year perfection process, and was handcrafted by a total of 30 people, start to finish. What I find interesting about this brush collection, is that it's very well defined. For example, brushes are classified in numbers: brushes in the 100s are for complexion, 200s are eyes, 300s are for lips and 400s are meant for artistic use for makeup artists, although I'm sure anyone could make use of them. Furthermore, the brushes' fibers are also divided into categories - straight fibers give a more intense and precise application of a product while wavy fibers give a lighter and freer application. The brush I was sent to review, the Blush Brush #160 ($51), is a combination of both which makes it great for multitasking.

And here is the #160 Blush Brush, in all its glory.

The construction of this brush is absolutely beautiful. The brush is weighty, and feels quite luxurious. The handle narrows towards the end which makes it really comfortable to hold.

The brush is very much shaped like the coveted MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush. The fibers are incredibly soft. You can see in the close up picture that the fibers are indeed a little wavy which makes blending in a dream. I've worked with this brush for a few weeks now, and it hasn't shed a hair. I even washed it a few times and no hair has come out, and when it dried, it held its shape beautifully. 

It's also worth noting that the textured wood of the handle is beautiful. 

I've used it for blush, and highlighting, but I think my favorite way to use it is as a bronzing brush. It fits perfectly under my cheekbones and makes blending really easy. One thing that is worth mentioning is that it doesn't pick up a lot of product, however, the straight/wavy fibers are meant for lighter application. I don't mind this at all - bronzing up my fair skin can lead to a lot of streaky application so I prefer to build the products and this brush is perfect for that. 

I'm definitely in the market for a few more of these brushes since I'm really impressed with the quality of the #160 brush! Have you tried any of the new Make Up For Ever Artisan brushes? Any recommendations? 

* I have received this product for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Clarins Be Long Mascara - Review, Sweat Test & Lash Discussion

While I generally am a drugstore mascara gal (faves being Annabelle's Le Big Show and Cover Girl's Lash Blast), I do believe some higher end mascaras are worth the purchase sometimes. Example - I love the Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash and the Clinique High Impact Extreme and would re-buy them in a heartbeat. They are on the less expensive end of high end mascara, but are still expensive if you're generally used to buying $5 mascaras.

When I tried the Clarins Be Long mascara, I was surprised. It didn't have anything I usually look for in a mascara, but I loved it instantly. I usually love big mascara brushes, but the Be Long brush is small and plastic. I also usually look for mascaras with heavier formula since I love voluminous lashes, and the formula of the Be Long is thin, but buildable. The funny thing about this is that everything I thought would work against this mascara was what made it truly remarkable. I loved that smaller brush was able to reach the small lashes at the corner of my eyes, which was made even easier with the slight angle to the brush. That's something I have a hard time to achieve with a bigger brush. The formula of the mascara was lengthening and thickening even with its thinner consistency. It doesn't clump whatsoever which makes it super easy to add a second coat. In fact, before the first coat is even dry, you can easily build a second coat without clumping.

I thought it might be interesting to add that on top of lasting on my lashes all day without any flakies, it lasted through a 1 hour moderately sweaty boxercise work out. If it passes the sweat test, that's GOOD.

And if this wasn't good enough, it's super easy to remove. Some of my favorite mascaras are a pain to remove. Yes, they give thick lashes, but thick lashes come with a lot of product, which means pain in the ass makeup removal. The Clarins Be Long mascara achieves thick lashes with minimal product, which means an easier removal process. And less product wasted as well!

This product is meant to give lashes some serious length, and while my lashes are already pretty long, I do find it lengthened them even more. Honestly though, I'm more impressed by its overall performance than by its lengthening factor. It delivers things I never knew I missed in my regular mascaras - the angled, small brush and the easy to build formula are both characteristics I will keep an eye out for in the future.

At a price point of $27, this mascara isn't cheap. But if you don't mind spending money on a makeup item such as mascara, I definitely recommend this gem.

* I have received this product for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Toronto and the Proctor & Gamble Beauty United Launch

Last week, on Monday, one of the most exciting things ever happened. I was invited to Toronto by Proctor & Gamble to attend the Beauty United launch featuring Olay, Cover Girl and Pantene. It was a whirlwind trip, but I tried to photograph everything as best I could and will walk you through my VIP experience!

Monday started by getting picked up by a swanky car to drive me to the Fredericton airport. I took a direct flight to Toronto where another swanky car drove me to the Trump Hotel where I was staying. The Trump Hotel guys! Needless to say, that was definitely the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in, and by far.

Above, the luxurious bed, an over-excited selfie, a touch light control panel, and the swanky bathroom with a TV in the mirror. I need to repeat this: a TV in the mirror! The. room. was. ridiculous.

After a self pep-talk and half a mind to take a little shot of alcohol (I was a little nervous!) I headed down to the Beauty United event which was on the 10th floor of the Trump Hotel.

 How cute are the little BU aka Beauty United chocolate covered Oreos?! They were delicious too!

Some faces at the launch:
Above, the gorgeous Michelle from A Lovely Allure and I met one of my favorite bloggers ever Christine from Little Red Bow. She was so sweet and just like I imagined her - I felt like I knew her already! Bottom left bloggers are Christa from Periously Pale (which I was a little starstruck to meet), new friend Dee from Liner Glitter Gloss and the ever lovely (and hilarious!) Jenn from Procrastinating Pretty. And finally Alexandra from AlexFashionBeauty vlogging at the event!

After some very interesting presentations on the science behind Proctor & Gamble, we were introduced to the Fall/Winter trends from brand ambassadors.
We learned about the new trends for fall: big, unstructured & messy hair, bordeaux lips, sleek, side parted ponytails and burgundy smokey eyes. I'm really excited to try the burgundy smokey eyes on myself! And since I already have big hair, I'm apparently set for fall!

After the presentations, we were off to interactive booths to learn about new Proctor & Gamble products. Highlights included being instructed that I should color my hair a dark brown for fall (which I definitely will!) and the most surprising fact of the night: did you know that all Venus Razor handles fit ALL Venus Razor heads? I was blown away by this and have since told many friends who didn't know! How cool! I'm also really keen to use the new Herbal Essences with Moroccan Oil! Some of these products were in a very generous swag bag I received at end of the night so expect some reviews soon!

I had such a blast at the Beauty United Launch and would like to thank Proctor & Gamble for their generosity in sending me to this event. I'm so grateful I got to travel to Toronto, meet some beautiful Canadian beauty bloggers and talk to experts from the industry. It was such an amazing experience. Thank you thank you thank you!

Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.