Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gift Set Wishlist

Once a year, every year, I get gift set envy. As soon as Sephora releases their gift sets for the holidays, I'm drooling. I mean what's not to love when, first and foremost, you get more bang for your buck? Here are the ones I've had my eye on and that I might gift to myself this holiday season.

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lavish Set  (C$49, Value of C$111)- I'm obsessed with my Anastasia Brow Whiz and have heard nothing but good things about their eyeshadows. I must try them and this gift seems like the perfect way to go about. Even better, it's available at my local Sephora (hints to family members who might be reading this and who live close to said Sephora).
2. Caudalie Vinosource Duo - (C$48, Value of C$67) I've been wanting to try the Vinosource by Caudalie for a while and what better way to do it than with a gift set? I'm especially curious about the S.O.S. Eye Rescue as my eyes have been looking terrible lately!
3. Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip - (Sold out on the website! NOOOOOOO! Might still be available in store!) Redheadphd went through her first impressions of the the gift set on Youtube a while back and I seriously loved every single color. Check out her video here - she describes the shades very well and actually tries every one of them on herself! It's a really good point of reference if you're interested in the gift set.
4. L'Occitane Delicious Almond Set - (C$71) I've been wanting to try that shower oil for the longest time! This gift set isn't the best of deals, but it does come with some other goodies such as a hand cream and some skin oil!
5. Formula X for Sephora - The Twenty-Two - (C$66) I obviously don't need more nail polish, but this kit seems too good to pass up! It has a good mix of pastels, bright, glitters and chrome shades - you probably have everything you need in there to start a good nail polish collection. I'm also really curious about this new formula! Anyone know if it's any good?
6. Fresh Sugar Star Set - (C$75) Not cheap, but if you're a fan of Fresh, this is your chance to get all the shades at a cheaper price. There are actually other gift sets with less balms, so you can actually pick a cheaper option as well! For you sheer lip color lovers, this is the bomb.
7. Buxom Serial Kisser Collection of 5 Mini Lipsticks - ($40) One of the better deals I've listed today! 4 lipsticks for $40! Redheadphd on Youtube has listed them as some of her favorite lipsticks, so I feel like these definitely deserve a try!

What gift sets are you lusting after this holiday season?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Annabelle Quad in Chai Chai Chai! A Review and Look of the Day!

After reading Tracy's post on the Annabelle Quad in Chai Chai Chai a while back, I was intrigued. The colors were 100% up my alley, and I really wanted to give it a try even though I probably had all the colors in my collection. What can I say, I'm a curious person!

I'm not too familiar with Annabelle products (other than with their amazing Le Big Show mascara which I love)  so Tracy's stamp of approval really pushed me to give it a try!

The palette is compact and sturdy. I love that you can see the shades through the top!

Swatched on my hand.

The Quad features 4 complimentary shimmery shades (no mattes, sorry matte lovers!). The shades are all wonderfully pigmented, smooth and easy to work with. The patchiest of them is probably the darkest shade, but it's still not patchy enough to be a problem upon application. My favorite shade is hands down the third on in my swatch. It's very similar to the brown shade in my Dior Aurora palette and is the perfect brown to use all over the lid for a quick look. I absolutely love using the Dior shadow that way and I know I'll be using this Annabelle shade the same way! I had absolutely no problem with wear time (I always wear a primer because I have oily lids) and had no drop-down problems upon application, nor during the day.

I thought I'd do a quick makeup look to show you how I've used the palette.

I used the first shade, the lightest one, in the inner corner of my eye, the second all over my lids, the third shade to depend the crease (with a MAC 217 brush) and used a smaller brush (the NARS Small Dome Eye Brush which is amazing) with the darkest shade to add more definition to the crease, the outer corner of my eye and the lashline. I then added a bit of the darker shade under my eye with a MAC 219 brush and voila! To finish off the look I created a cat eyeliner with my L'Oreal Infaillible Lacquer Liner, used my Clarins Be Long Mascara on my lashes, added the NARS Laguna Bronzer to my cheekbones, and topped them with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed. On my lips I have the Maybelline Color Whisper in Mocha Muse.

Hope this was a helpful review for you! If you've been hesitating on getting this palette, rest assured that it's an excellent palette and you definitely won't be wasting your money! How can you go wrong at $10.95 a pop!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vichy Idéalia Life Serum - Bringing My Skin Back to Life

When I first gave the Vichy Idéalia a whirl, I was skeptical. I had noticed that the product had some red-toned shimmer in it, and I was willing to bet that it would made my pores look massive. And sure enough, I was wrong. It made my admittedly big pores look quite a lot smaller!

I was running a fever the day I decided to give this serum a go and was in no mood to wear any makeup. I had to run a couple errands but didn't feel like giving the "I'm contagious" vibe with the way my face was looking. I generously applied the Vichy Idéalia Life Serum to my mug, and magic happened. My dry patches were smoothed, my completion was more uniform, and I was glowing. The serum absorbed quite fast into my skin, and didn't leave my skin looking oily. I instagrammed a picture of it here, in case you're curious. I'm not the most confident person when it comes to my skin as I have a few acne scars, and large pores on my nose, but that day, I felt confident going out without any foundation on. To be fair though, I didn't have any massive pimples, and that usually makes me feel a little more confident. But my skin was seriously glowing.

The product stayed on my skin all day - I deduced this because I could still see some shimmer on my skin before I washed it at night. What I liked most about this product is that it didn't make my skin oily at all - most likely because this product absorbed fully into the skin. And it didn't leave a film on my skin like silicone based products tend to do.

I guess I chose a good time to test this product - the Vichy Idéalia Life Serum is meant to improve skin that has been affected by stress, fatigue, overexposure to sun, pollution, and an unbalanced diet. That's a lot! My skin has recently been affected by stress and fatigue especially, and I have to say that it really helped improve how healthy my skin looked.

I think this product would especially suit women who don't regularly wear foundation. In my opinion, if you're blessed with good skin, don't wear foundation - stick to tinted moisturizers, BB Creams and serums and let your natural beauty shine through! So if you're comfortable with extremely light coverage, you might find this product particularly suited to your needs. However, if you wear foundation daily (like me) but you're just looking for a good product on those "days-off makeup", this might be perfect for you as well! Just don't be put off by the shimmer when you test it on your hands - that's what truly makes your skin glow.

* 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, October 14, 2013

CoverGirl Clean Glow Blush in #120 Spices - Review & Swatches

Hello friends! Today I'm bringing you a review of the CoverGirl Clean Glow Blush in the shade #120 Spices. I was lucky enough to receive this product for review, and I'm happy to say that it's become a staple in my makeup routine!

The CoverGirl Clean Glow Blush is, as the name of it suggest, a blush. But I personally use it as a bronzer to add a touch of color to my face. Since it's not necessarily meant to be a bronzer, the color of it is a bit pinker than what I would normally use for a bronzer, but I find that just gives a more natural finish.

I find the packaging of the product quite sleek and classy in design. The case is easy to open and close, and I love that you can see the blush/bronzer through the clear top.

#120 Spices, swatched on my hand.

And #120 Spices, under my cheekbones.

I mostly use the CoverGirl Glow Blush as a bronzer under my cheekbones, but what I love the most about it is that because it is a bit more pink in tone, it is the perfect color to blend out my blush under my cheekbones. It gives my cheeks a more seamless finish - there are no harsh lines separating my blush and bronzer. Plus, this product smells delicious, and lasts all day! If you're looking for a pigmented blush, I wouldn't recommend this as it doesn't give off a ton of color, but it's perfect if you're super pale like me!

Hope you're all having a great Monday!

*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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa Mask - A Review

Being cursed with oily skin, I often forget the importance of moisturizing my skin. When I find my skin looking dull and red, it is often because I haven't been moisturizing enough. With the seasons changing, I'm finding my skin drier and more sensitive, so I've started making a point to moisturize at least once a day to keep my skin healthy. One of the products that has been a skin-saver in the past month, has been the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa Mask. Not technically a moisturizer, this mask has been making my skin look absolutely radiant.

This product is meant to offer deep moisture to your skin as an overnight treatment. It's full of hyaluronic acid which helps infuse maximum moisture into your skin at night, which is when it is most prone to being replenished. It's also meant for sensitive skin.

The instructions suggest to apply a thick layer, but I only need a very small amount in order for my skin to be coated. I supposed you could apply it heavily as it does absorb quite quickly into the skin. The mask is quite thin in texture and gel like, but very very moisturizing. The texture of the product feels quite slippery upon application, but it takes no time to sink into my skin. For those of you familiar with Hydraluron, it has a similar texture, but thicker, and moisturizing. Vichy claims this product is non-greasy and I agree - it doesn't feel greasy at all on my skin, and it doesn't leave any marks on my pillow at night. It hasn't given me any break outs and my skin looks amazing the next morning. Perhaps it's the lighter texture of the mask that my skin is digging, but I don't think my skin has gotten along so well with such a high level of moisture before.When I wake up after applying the mask, my skin is plump and nourished. Applying foundation in the morning is a dream as my skin is so soft. As my skin is oily, I can't really speak to how well it moisturizes a drier skin type, but my skin is definitely happy and looking much healthier since I started using this product. On top of how well it performs, it smells absolutely heavenly. The scent isn't too strong in my opinion, but if you're not a fan, it quickly dissipates after application anyway.

I highly recommend this product if you're looking to add a little something extra in your skincare routine. Not only does it smell delicious and feel luxurious, it actually works very well at moisturizing my skin and leaving it looking really healthy in the morning. And for once, the product isn't too heavy for my oily skin.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

* 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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Quick Swatch - OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry

It's fitting that in about 13 days, I will no longer be a quarter of a century. In fact, I'll be 26! I'm excited for my birthday but not too thrilled about growing up. I remember the days when me and my friend were 16 and thinking of how cool it would be to be 18! Now, I'd rather stay 25 forever, and maybe let my hair go back to a time when I didn't have greys. Haha, growing old is weird.

OPI's Quarter of a Cent-Cherry, other than making me think about my age, is a gorgeous deep red. It has quite a brown undertone which is perfect for fall. It's similar to OPI's Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ (one of my OPI faves), but Mrs. O'Leary has more of a purple undertone while Quarter of a Cent-Cherry is more of a true deep red.

It's strange, but I don't think I have anything quite like it in my collection! I guess I haven't been buying too many deep reds in the past, but I'm definitely all about for this fall.

What's your favorite dark red polish? I could use some suggestions to add to my collection!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Favorites featuring Nuxe, Vidal Sassoon, Clarins and more!

A little late, but they're here! September this year has been all about using products I already own. But in the name of not making this dull and talking about products I've already "favorited" before, I've added newer favorites as well. Mostly though, I'm using the same products as my last favorites, and the favorites before. Guess I'm a creature of habit?

To start off, I've raved about it, so it's no surprise that the Clarins Be Long Mascara* (reviewed here) is on my September favorites list. It's seriously one of the best mascaras I've used. The brush is tiny and catches every single one of my lashes. I highly recommend this mascara! For lips, my YSL Glossy Stain in #9 Rouge Lacque has been my go-to for bright lips in the past month. It's super easy to apply and I love the glossier (but no-fuss) formula. As for gloss, I've been obsessed with the Almay Liquid Lip Balms which I've recently reviewed. I'm seriously eyeing the flyers for a good sale on them so I can pick up all the colors. Yeah, I'm obsessed. But only because the formula is amazing! My MAC Prep+Prime powder made a surprising appearance this month. For summer, I've been embracing my natural skin which means I have barely used powder all summer. Now that fall is almost upon us, I've been mattifying my skin a little bit with this powder. Let's be honest though, this powder doesn't completely absorb all my oils, but that's one of the reasons I like it. I find it gives my skin a natural finish rather than a made up one. I've made quite a dent in it and I think it's on its way to becoming a fall, even winter fave!

Non makeup favorites include my trusty Nuxe Cleansing Milk. I feel like I've overlooked this product when I first got it, but I've been back to using it full time. I love massaging it into my skin with a bit of water. It removes all my makeup, and it's non irritating, even if I get a little in my eyes. For my hands which have started getting drier with the change of weather, I've been loving my Body Shop Almond Hand and Nails Cream. At first, I thought the cream was a bit too greasy for my liking, but after applying it before bed a few nights in a row, my hands were super smooth and my cuticles were looking much better. I'll definitely be repurchasing this gem! Finally, I've been obsessed with my Vidal Sassoon Spray Repair and Finish** since I received it at the Beauty United Launch in Toronto. This spray is meant to be more of a repairing product, but I've been loving using primarily as a finishing spray. It give my hair the perfect amount of texture without making it feel like it has any product in it. I've used it on straightened hair to give my hair a bit of messy texture, as well as on curly hair to re-define my curls and again, create a bit of texture. I usually spray the product directly on my hair, scrunch it gently, and that's it! It also smells absolutely amazing. I had been looking for a product like this in my life, but didn't want to pay the exorbitant prices of the popular texturizing sprays out there! Glad I found a happy medium!

And that's it! I had a lot more favorites this month, but you've seen them before, so I figured I'd spare you. Non beauty favorites include fresh apples, candy corn, chunky sweaters, fedoras, and black booties. Can you tell I'm in fall mode yet?

What are your beauty or non-beauty favorites this month?

* 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.
**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.