Review: Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

MUFE HD Foundation

Happy Monday!

Today I’ve got a full review on MUFE’s Ultra HD Fluid Foundation.  I purchased this back in December and have been using it for about a month and a half, so I feel I have a pretty good understanding of it, and figured it’s about time I do a review.

Here are it’s claims, as per the MUFE website:

  • lightweight/feels like a second skin
  • natural, flawless coverage/invisible on camera and to the naked eye
  • Medium to buildable coverage
  • Long-lasting

So first up, I definitely agree that this is definitely lightweight and natural looking.  It has a very silky texture and applies like a dream to my skin. I’ve applied this using my Beauty Blender and a foundation brush and both work well, although I default to the Beauty Blender most times.  I find it very comfortable to wear and is probably as close to my real skin as I’ve seen any foundation look. I find it leaves behind a satin/slightly dewy finish immediately after application which is nice.

In terms of coverage, I’d also agree that this falls under medium. I can get away with one pump all over my face and feel like my skin is sufficiently covered.  However I typically use another half-pump on my cheeks as I have some redness that I prefer to hide.  I appreciate the fact that this doesn’t become cakey as you build it, however I cannot build this up to full coverage.  I definitely need to use concealer to cover up the broken capillaries under my eyes and any blemishes or acne scars.  Therefore I personally can’t vouch for this creating a flawless complexion all on its own (but isn’t that what concealer is for?).  If you have close to perfect skin to begin with, that could be a possibility for you.  .

I think the lasting time is what has disappointed me a bit – it definitely doesn’t last on me all day.  I’d say after about 12 hours I don’t have much left of it on my face.  It breaks down as time goes on and I definitely have to use a blotting paper about halfway through my day as my t-zone gets to be pretty oily by then.  I’m not going to fault it too much for that, because is there any foundation that actually lasts (and looks good) after a full 12 hours?

I’ve used this with a primer since Day 1 so I haven’t tested it without one.  It wouldn’t make sense for me to though, because I always use a primer – without one my foundation just settles into my pores and stays there and it won’t last longer than an hour.  The two primers I’ve used with this are Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer and MUFE’s Smoothing Primer.  I prefer using the Too Faced version the MUFE makes me pretty greasy within a few hours of application.  I’d like to see how a mattifying primer performs with this but I’ve yet to find one that actually works for my skin.

I think one of the big bonuses with this product is the shade selection – it is quite extensive with 40 shades to choose from.  I was matched to Y305 Soft Beige @ Sephora but I think this actually might be too yellow for me; I’m pretty pale with cool undertones and this is quite yellow/warm.  Which is great to cover up some of the redness I experience but a little bit much for the rest of my face.  Definitely not a fault of the product, but more so of Sephora’s Color IQ (I’ve never been matched properly using it).

Overall, I like this foundation.  It applies like a dream, doesn’t sink into my pores, and most importantly – it doesn’t make my super sensitive skin breakout.  If I had to compare it to something I’d say it’s very similar to Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (BTW), which I used for a couple of weeks and returned, because it was causing breakouts. I find the coverage, formula and finish very similar, but MUFE is miles better in regards to lasting power.  BTW lasted maybe a couple of hours on me before it practically evaporated off of my skin and left me looking like an oil slick.  This definitely lasts quite a bit longer and doesn’t leave me near as oily.  Also, NO BREAKOUTS, which is huge!

Now to the ultimate question – would I re-purchase this?  The answer is yes, I would.  It is really hard for me to find foundations that work for my skin and although this isn’t perfect, it has more pros than cons as far as I’m concerned.  I think if you have skin that leans towards the combination to dry side of the spectrum, this could work well for you!

In summary:

Coverage: Medium

Finish: Satin/slightly dewy

Shades: 40 shades

Price: $50 CAD

Available at: Sephora, makeupforever.com

Re-purchase?: Yes

Have you tried this foundation?  What did you think?  Let me know below!

Thanks for reading!

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Product Letdowns of 2015

Product Letdowns of 2015

In the midst of the craziness that has been 2016 so far, I almost forgot to include a post on what products didn’t work for me in 2015.   I’ve done posts on my top beauty and non-beauty products of the year, so I feel its only fair to include my letdowns as well!

I must say that I sometimes enjoy reading about what products didn’t work for others more than hearing about those they love.  It’s always so interesting to hear why a product doesn’t work for someone, and I have way more trust for Bloggers/YouTubers who do so.  It drives me nuts when their reason for not discussing disappointing products is that because “it’s too negative.”  I mean, how often does a product work for absolutely everyone?  Almost never.  /end rant.

So in the spirit of “negativity”, here are the products that didn’t work for me or I just didn’t enjoy in 2015!  Note that I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin I’ve grouped these into 2 categories – those that caused breakouts and other.  I had reviewed about half of these products at some point last year, so I included a “Coles Notes Review” that lists the highlights of my review, as well as a link back to my original review/post if you want more detailed information.  The other half of products mentioned were ones that I forgot to do a review on, or ran out of time to do prior to the end of the year.

CAUSED BREAKOUTS

Kat Von D Lock it Foundation

I realized that I purchased this foundation back in the summer, used it for a week and then returned it and never mentioned a peep about in on my blog.  And I was really sad about it, because I think this is a fabulous full-cover foundation.  It covers REALLY well, was a great match to my skin tone and made my skin look almost flawless…until I started breaking out that is.  One of the ingredients in this is Isononyl Isononanoate and I suspect I’m allergic to it (given that it’s the common denominator in other products I’ve used that caused a similar reaction).

While this foundation provided fantastic coverage it also had a tendency to cake up really easily/quickly.  I found that using my Beauty Blender really aided in avoiding this. It is quite thick so I didn’t need more than one pump – a little goes a long way.  While I’m disappointed this didn’t work for me, if you don’t have sensitive skin and are looking for a full-coverage foundation, this could work for you!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

I purchased this at the VIB Rouge sale back in November and given the positive experiences I had with Too Faced Products this year, I was very excited to try this out.  I had heard/read mixed reviews on it but I wanted to see what it was like for myself.

Unfortunately this was a great big fail for me.  While it looked flawless right after I applied it, within a couple of hours my face was a greasy mess.  It didn’t matter if I set it with a powder, used a mattifying primer, or a setting spray – the result was the same.  On top of that, it also made me break out.  😦  I think if you have dry skin this could probably work wonders on you, but it wasn’t for me.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation

Coles notes review – Separated on my face, highlighted dry patches, caused major breakouts.

More detailed review here.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder Pressed Powder:

Coles notes review – Controlled oil well but caused major breakouts.

More detailed review here.

CeraVe Foaming Face Cleanser

This was on my July favourites because it was one of the few cleansers that I’ve tried that actually removed all my makeup (including eye makeup) AND it didn’t dry out my skin at all.  After just over a month of using it I realized it was the causing some small (but consistent) breakouts.  I stopped using it and it went away.  Sigh.

More detailed review here.

eos Lip Balm

Coles notes review: Caused some breakouts around my mouth…but I haven’t considered suing them for my reaction to it (haha!).

More detailed review here.

OTHER

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Coles notes review – Couldn’t get these to blend properly nor last on my skin.

Full review here.

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Coles notes review – didn’t mattify, dries up really quickly and left a white residue behind.

More detailed review here.

Dr Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner

This definitely made my pores smaller but left me oily by the end of the day.  Thankfully this is a sample size and I used points @ Sephora to get it.

Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion

Coles notes review: Left me greasy and oily by the end of the day, and left a white cast on my skin.

Full review here.

Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Setting Gel

Coles notes review – This made my eyebrows orange, it had a horrible formula and the brush was way too big.

More detailed review here.

NYC Big Bold & Precise Felt Tip Eyeliner

This is one of those gimmicky eyeliners that has two different tips – one that’s supposed to be thin and precise and the other that’s thicker and dramatic.  I can’t get either side to work – it’s patchy and watery and smudgy.  And it doesn’t last very long.  Thankfully I only paid around $5 for this so I’m not too heartbroken.

Essence Super Fine Eyeliner Pen

For $2.99, I really can’t complain too much about this eyeliner pen.  It’s super black and has impressive lasting power BUT the tip is super thin and damages easily.  As a result it becomes too flexible and you can’t get a precise line with it.  So while this one didn’t work great, Essence’s Original Eyeliner Pen has all the benefits of this one but without the easily-damaged tip.

Fructus Full & Plush Fortifying Shampoo

Coles notes review – Actually had the opposite effect of volume on my fine hair.

More detailed review here.

COLAB Dry Shampoo

Coles notes review – did nothing to soak up greasy roots and doesn’t even compare to my beloved Batiste.

More detailed review here.

Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes (available in-store)

I discovered these @ Costco late last year and I think I paid $15 for a large box of them.  It seemed like such a deal and because I’m generally impressed with most things from Costco so I couldn’t resist giving these a try.  Sadly these are probably some of the worst face wipes I’ve ever used.  They are so heavily fragranced and they dried out my skin like crazy.  And now I’m stuck with multiple packs of them.  I may give some away and I’ll use the rest to clean off my makeup vanity and swatches.

Dove Original Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Coles notes review – not effective, heavily scented,

More detailed review here.

Even though this is a pretty extensive list, I still feel like I forgot a few. I was kind of disappointed with how many products didn’t work for me, especially those that made me break out.  I know I have sensitive skin, but it can pretty discouraging.   The good thing is it really makes me pay attention to ingredient lists!

What were your product letdowns for 2015?

Thanks for reading!
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Sephora VIB Sale Wish List

 

picmonkey_image-2It’s that time of the year again!  If you haven’t heard, the Sephora VIB Rouge sale starts this weekend (November 6-9) and the VIB sale follows shortly thereafter (November 13-16).  I saw the news on Instagram last night and I knew I had to start thinking about what I wanted to purchase.

FACE

Before I purchase either of these foundations I’m going to try and get samples of both beforehand.  These are both pricey foundations so I don’t want to invest in one of them and then figure out they don’t work for me!

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Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – $49 CAD

I’ve heard so many good things about this foundation and because I just had a really good experience with the Too Faced Most Loved Set (review here), I’m kind of on a Too Faced kick now.

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Makeup Forever Invisible Coverage Foundation – $50 CAD

I’ve heard such great things about this foundation as well.  The shade selection is extensive (40 shades!) so it seems like finding the right one for my face won’t be an issue.  I’m interested to see the differences between this and the Too Faced foundation in store.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Diffused Light) – $52 CAD

I’ve been wanting to try one of these highlighting powders for a while but the price just about kills me!  Taking 20% off helps soften the blow; if only they all didn’t look so beautiful!   I think I’d go with the Diffused Light shade given that its meant to conceal redness which is something I struggle with.

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Bare Minerals Skin Rev-er Upper – $25 CAD

This is my favourite lightweight, every day moisturizer.  I’m almost out, so I need a refill!  It’s annoying that this doesn’t show up on the Canadian site, so I’m going to have to pick it up in-store.  It’s got a very thin and watery consistency and it absorbs into my skin very quickly, which is key for me in the mornings!

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Nars Blush (Sin/Deep Throat/Mata Hari) – $37.00

I’ve worn Nars Orgasm for years and I think it will always be one of my favourite blushes of all time.  Because I’m such a fan of the formula, I want to add to my collection.  Can’t decide between these three shades though!

EYES

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Buxom Dolly’s Wild Side Eyeshadow Palette – $50

I spotted this palette back in the summer and it intrigued me, particularly that shimmery cranberry shade on the far right.  The shades in this one all look really pretty but I’m trying to decide if it’d be more fun to create my own palette within this line for the same price.

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Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette – $55 CAD

Another highly raved about palette!  These are all very neutral though which I think is kind of boring, but neutrals and nudes are typically what I reach for on a daily basis.

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Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette – $48 CAD

I’ve been looking for a travel-friendly palette and this one looks like it would fit the bill!  It contains eyeshadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter and the colours all look very neutral and warm but versatile!

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Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette – $59 CAD

The most expensive option of the bunch but probably the one I want most. The chocolate scent of this is what is pulling me in, not to mention the mix of brown and neutral shades, with the occasional pop of colour in there too.

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Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – $30

I did a full review on the trail size of this here; I rarely buy high-end mascara but this one has me converted!  My sample size has run out and I’m really missing this so I know I need the full size.

HAIR

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Living Proof Instant Texture Mist – $32 CAD

I just used up a trial size of this and I lurrrrrved it!  It made my curls (via curling iron) last longer than anything I’ve used previously and it left zero residue behind.  The cost of this physically hurts but because my hair is so tempermental I’m willing to cough up the change for it.

 

 

FRAGRANCE

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Marc Jacobs Decadence – $115 CAD

This might be my new fall/winter fragrance.  First, I’m mesmerized by the bottle, how unique is it?  And the scent is so lovely – a little woodsy, slightly musky but still feminine.  I might try the rollerball to start and then request a full size spray for Christmas.

LIPS

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Bite Beauty Luminious Lip Creme (Mauvember) – $28 CAD

I’m not sure if you can use the discount on this product but I might just buy this anyway.  It looks like a great shade, plus its limited edition and supports a great charity!

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Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask – $30 CAD

It’s only November and my lips are already so dry. I feel like I’m going to need something extra-strength to get me through the colder months, and this has been on my must-try list for a while.   I’ve heard the packaging sucks on this but the product itself is really good.

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Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick (Melted Peony) – $25 CAD

I  have Melted Fig in this line and I love it.  All the other colours in this line look pretty intense and vibrant, but Melted Peony looks a little more muted and more my style.

 

So I’m obviously not going to buy all of these because I don’t have an unlimited bank account.  Plus, once I’m in store, I tend to talk myself out of things or convince myself that I don’t really need this or that.  Then I regret it after the sale is over and end up buying things at full price.  #logic  So this time I’m going to make sure that I’m thoughtful about what I purchase, why I’m purchasing and why I decide not to purchase something.

Have you tried any of these products?  Have I made some good choices?  Not so good choices?  What have I missed?  What are you buying at the VIB sale?  Let me know below!

Thanks for reading!

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Loves & Letdowns – September 2015

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So I may have completely forgotten to do my favourites for August so I’m combining two months worth loves and letdowns into one very late post.  The good thing is that I only have ONE let down for those two entire months!  That never happens so I can’t decide if I should give the credit to my purchasing skills or the products themselves.

First of my, LOVES:

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Cake Supremely Rich Bath and Shower Froth – Strawberry Sugar (not available online)

Whenever I see these @ Winners or Homesense, I always make sure to scoop them up.  I love Cake products because a) they’re always awesome and b) they are a Canadian company.  I was so disappointed when Sephora stopped carrying this brand and it’s near impossible to find their products anywhere now aside from on their website.

I use this exclusively as a bubble bath and because it’s such a generous size, it lasts me at least 4-5 months.  I’m a huge bath person so I have high standards for my bubble bath.  It needs to have a great scent both in the bottle and once its actually poured into the bath.  It also needs to foam up well and leave behind bubbles that last – not ones that dissipate within a few minutes.  And it needs to leave my skin feeling soft but not greasy.  This one checks all the boxes which is why I continue to buy it.  I’ve never tried this particular scent before so I’m assuming it was limited edition or something but I wish it wasn’t because it smells delicious.  Kind of like a strawberry daiquiri.

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CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray

This is another Winners find that I’m really impressed with.  I’m really picky about my hairspray as I have fine hair that can’t handle something that is too heavy/sticky/crunchy but it needs to provide some good hold as I do have a lot of hair.  And it most definitely cannot make my hair greasy.  This does the job well and I like that I paid $12.99 for it versus the $20 I see it for in the salon.  However I will re-purchase it at the full price if I can’t get this at Winners once I’ve used it up!

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Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Enhancing Styling Foam

I used this mousse years ago and I can’t remember why I stopped using it.  First off disclaimer: I don’t have curly hair.  In fact my hair is stick straight.  However I typically curl or round-brush it every day and I like to add a mousse after washing to add volume and keep my style in place.  For whatever reason, this works really well in my straight hair.  It’s a pretty thick mousse so I do have to be careful about how much I use as it tends to build up in my hair.  Otherwise, I really like this for the volume it adds, as well as it’s ability to keep my curls/style in check.

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Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation & Suncreen – Classic Ivory

I’ve been using this foundation since July and you may be wondering why its just showing up in my favourites now.  My skin is super sensitive, particularly to ingredients in foundations.  I want to make sure I gave this a really good try to ensure it wasn’t causing any breakouts or irritation before I wrote about it on here as I’ve made that mistake before.  I’m excited to report that this has passed the test!  And I’m really glad because this has become the foundation I reach for on a daily basis.

What I love about this is the coverage – I’d say it classifies as full-coverage, but it doesn’t look llike it.  Meaning it covers up any imperfections but doesn’t look cakey or thick.  I use my beauty blender to apply it and I find it just makes my skin look pretty close to flawless.  Its lasting power is also worth mentioning; if I use a makeup remover wipe at the end of the day and there’s foundation on it I’m impressed because it’s usually 14 hours after I’ve applied it.  I’ve been using this with the Too Faced Hangover Primer and I love the combination of the two – I feel like the primer gives my skin a bit of a glow while the foundation gives me the coverage I need.

If I had to pick something to complain about it would be the claim that this can be used as a primer, concealer and foundation in one.  I personally still use a bit of concealer (under my eyes and on any blemishes) because it doesn’t cover those areas up enough for me.  Also I always need a primer under my foundation so I can’t skip that either.  So for me, this can’t replace those products but depending on your skin type, it may do that for you.

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Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

I did a full review on this product a little while ago so I won’t bother repeating my thoughts.  I’ve been using it regularly and I still love it – it makes my at-home manicures last for days longer!  Plus it makes them super shiny.  I definitely see myself re-purchasing this!

 

 

 

 

IMG_0681Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Pecan Waffles Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel

This is my favourite fall scent from B&BW.  I always keep one of these in my purse and I find that using them, especially as the weather gets colder and flu season sets in, has really reduced the number of times I get sick. Also very handy if public bathrooms run out of hand soap – which I’ve had happen before!  #ick

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Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I have a review coming up on a Too Faced sample set that I picked up this Summer so I’m not going to get into too many details about this.  Except to say that this is my favourite high-end mascara.  I rarely buy mascara that’s not from the drugstore because to be honest, I’ve never tried one that has justified its cost, and the drugstore is FILLED with great mascaras for cheap!  I will definitely be picking up the full size of this!

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Too Faced Hangover RX Replenishing Face Primer

This primer was also included in the set I referred to above so I’ll be including a full review of this in a post to come next week.  All I’ll say for now is that I was very hesitant to try this out but I don’t know why because it has completely changed how my foundation applies and looks on my skin!  The only thing I don’t like is the price but I’m going to have to suck it up because I’ve never used any primer as good as this one!

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Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner

This was on my list of liquid eyeliners to try as I kept reading and hearing reviews about how great it was.  So I picked it up a couple of months ago and thought I’d test it out for myself.  Consider me impressed!  My preference for liquid liners is always felt tip, as I feel they are the easiest to apply.  This one is no exception and I like how the tip is a good balance between being flexible and firm.  I tend to press a little hard when applying my eyeliner so I need one that isn’t going to be destroyed when I do so.  This also lasted a good two months before it started to dry out!  Normally I can get a month out of one of these max so that was a big bonus.

I could be wrong, but I feel like this is the exact same product as the L’oreal Infalliable Super Slim Liner.  The packaging (aside from the name) is almost precisely the same, as is the product itself.  They also perform similarly so I like that I can pick up whichever one is on sale and know that they work equally as well.

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Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes – Sensitive Skin

Facial cleansing wipes are a must for me when I travel, and I brought these with me the last two times I was away from home.  This is another product that I used to use a few years ago and I can’t remember why I stopped using them.  Regardless, I think these are the favourite face wipes I’ve ever used.  They stay moist (even when you get near the end), don’t irritate my skin and can take off all of my makeup with one wipe.  I’ve been exceptionally lazy lately and have been using these to take my makeup off at night and I feel like my skin is looking better than it has for a while.  Which I’m sure is just a coincidence but I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about these causing any breakouts or irritation.

 

 

And lastly, my one, lonely LETDOWN:

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Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Setting Gel – Blonde

I don’t know what it is about Rimmel products, but I have zero luck with them.  So I’m not sure why I thought things would be different with this.  I’ve used this all of once and it’s going in the garbage now that I’ve reviewed it.  First of all, the colour states blonde but it tints my brows ORANGE.  Secondly, the brush on this is WAY too big; it’s near impossible to get a precise application with this.  Not sure what they were thinking when they designed it.  Thirdly, I wouldn’t say this classifies as a gel – to me it has more of a thick mousse consistency, which when you add in that brush, makes for a thick, gloopy mess.  Big thumbs down for me on this one!

And that’s all my August & September favourites!  Have you tried any of these products?  If so, what were your thoughts?  Let me know below!

Thanks for reading!

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London Drugs Haul & First Impressions!

So I stopped in London Drugs to pick up some new deodorant, and I walked out of there with all of this:

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Because I totally needed 2 new foundations, another mascara, lip balm, a concealer, another face wash, night cream and eye cream.  I did need (ok want) another tube of the Jergens BB cream so technically that’s justified.  Must stay out of drugstores…or just stores in general.

Anyway, here’s the details on what I picked up:

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Mitchum Unscented Gel Deodorant & Anti-Perspirant – $3.99 (SALE!)

I’ve discovered that the Dove dry spray deodorant that I’ve been using it actually irritating my skin and causing a rash – lovely!   I used to use Mitchum deodorant years ago and it seemed to work, so I thought I’d revisit it.  Bonus that it was on sale!

My first impression: I find this leaves a sticky residue after applying but once it’s dry it goes away.  No irritation so far either.  It seems to be doing its job so far.

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Nivea Smooth Replenishing Cream – $2.49 CAD

Nothing super exciting here – just a small hand cream to throw in my purse.  This has macadamia nut oil in it which seemed interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.

My first impression: I’ve only used this once but it seemed to work fine.  Not too thick, standard drugstore lotion perfumey smell and my hands felt moisturized after.

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e.l.f HD Lifting Concealer (Fair) – $3.99 CAD

If I could find a concealer that doesn’t settle into the fine lines around my eyes that would be great.  I liked the sound of this one (lifting?) and it was cheap so I figured it was worth a shot.

My first impression:  Creamy texture, a good colour match for my skin tone but I’m not seeing much staying power with this unfortunately.

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Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation (Classic Ivory) – $9.99 CAD (SALE!)

I’ve been wanting to try this foundation for a while because everyone raves about it.  Lately I’ve been wearing Covergirl’s Ready Set Gorgeous foundation and I included it as a love in my June Loves & Letdowns (review here) but it’s always good to have options.  Plus this was on sale this week so I thought I might as well pay a little less for it if I was going to try it.  I have read some comments about this causing breakouts which worries me a bit because it does have sunscreen in it.

My first impression: I’ve used this once so far and it probably wasn’t the best day to test it out for the first time.  Basically I was sitting directly in the sun for 2.5 hours straight so it just melted right off my face.  I’m not sure any foundation would have withstood those conditions so I’ll try it out under some more normal conditions and I shall keep you updated!

Marcelle Flawless Skin Fusion Foundation – $18.99 CAD 

This was a total impulse buy and one that I hope I don’t end up regretting!  I was just about to leave the cosmetics area and I noticed this on display. Given the price, I normally would have just walked away but there was a $5 manufactures coupon for it so I took the plunge. I’ve never tried any of Marcelle’s products before and I didn’t realize that they are a Canadian company, which I’m always happy to support.  The weird thing is I can’t find anything online about this foundation AT ALL.  Maybe it’s just because it’s so new but it seems weird that Marcelle wouldn’t have anything about it on their website at the very least?

My first impression: So I’ve only used this twice but so far, I REALLY like this.  I’d describe the texture as almost serum-like and it’s very lightweight.  I find it leaves behind a slightly dewy finish and it feels like its light coverage but it covers really well!  I’m going to continue to use this for the rest of this week and cross my fingers that the love just continues!

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EOS Visibly Soft Coconut Milk Lip Balm – $3.99 CAD

Okay, I’ll admit that I was not fond of the original EOS lip balms that everyone else seems to go crazy over.  I tried them once and found them waxy and not at all moisturizing.  I read online somewhere about the newer versions being a vast improvement over the originals, so I purchased the coconut milk version.

My first impression: So far, so good!  This smells absolutely amazing and it’s definitely moisturizing!  I’ve only used it a handful of times but I’m kind of loving it already!

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Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream (Light) – $11.99

I just did a full review on this in my Used & Abused post (read it here).  Love this stuff!

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CeraVe Skincare Essentials Pack – $19.99 CAD

I’ve been wanting to try a few CeraVe products for a while now – specifically their eye cream and AM moisturizer.  I went and took a peek at the eye cream and it was priced at $22.99 (eek!).  I was about to walk away when I saw this display of these skincare essential packs that included the coveted Eye Repair Cream, Foaming Face Cleanser and the PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.  It was on sale for $19.99 (marked down from $29.99) so I snatched it up immediately because #nobrainer.  Even at $29.99, this is a fantastic deal, given that the eye cream retails for $22.99 alone!  I’m so tempted to go and buy another one but I know that I need to try these out for at least a couple of weeks first to ensure that I actually like them.

My first impressions: I’m liking the cleanser – not super moisturizing but not drying either and it takes off the majority of eye makeup which is really rare!  The eye cream – meh, doesn’t seem to be doing anything fantastic but its early days!  Same with the PM moisturizer but I’ll keep using all of these and do a full review in the near future.

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Covergirl The Super Sizer Mascara (Very Black) – $6.99 CAD

I’ve heard some super good things about this mascara and I’ve been dying to try it.  It’s not one I would normally try because I typically like the traditional bristley brush mascaras, however I was intrigued by the reviews that said this was great for volume.

My first impression: The brush takes a bit of getting used to as you have to twirl it through your lashes as you apply it. As a result I find it end up getting mascara on my top water line which is a little annoying.  However this definitely provides some serious length and I’d say a reasonable amount of volume.  It does get a bit clumpy but I was able to use the brush to comb them out a bit which I thought was pretty cool!  I picked this up in Very Black and it is indeed, very black!

Have you tried any of these products?  If so, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts – I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!

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Used & Abused – Product Empties!

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Happy Saturday!

Today’s post is going to be all about products I’ve recently Used & Abused aka product empties!  I’ve been saving these up for a while so I have quite a few to get through!:

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – $12.50 CAD

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I picked this up a few months ago by accident; I thought it was the First Aid Beauty Repair Cream which I absolutely love, particularly in the winter.  I was a disappointed when I discovered that it wasn’t what I thought it was but thought I’d give it a try rather than returning it.

The good: This removes all kinds of makeup like nobody’s business.  I rarely use my face wash to take off my makeup because I’ve never found one that is actually effective.  This is an exception to the rule; it removed my liquid eyeliner and numerous coats of mascara with ease.  It also has a creamy, rich texture that lathered and foamed up really nicely.  My skin definitely felt cleansed after using this.

The bad: So while my skin definitely felt cleansed after using this, it also felt tight and dry after too.  Which is a pet peeve of mine. I definitely had an urge to slather on the moisturizer after using this which was disappointing to me.

Repurchase?  Unfortunately I’d have to say no on this one.  While I really liked how well it removed makeup, the way it left my skin feeling tight and dry after was a deal breaker for me.  I feel like this could potentially work well for someone with oily skin so I’ll leave it for them!

First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream (no longer available – alternative)

This is another First Aid Beauty product I picked up a while back, although this one was on purpose.  I was looking for a new everyday moisturizer and this one seemed like it would fit the bill.  Just so you’re aware, Sephora no longer carries this specific product but its been replaced with the Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream.  I compared the ingredients and they are basically the same, give or take a few ingredients.

The good: While they refer to this as a cream, I personally would label it more as a lotion. It has a very lightweight, thin consistency which I prefer in a moisturizer, especially in my daily moisturizer.  As a result, this absorbed into my skin quickly which I always appreciate!  I hate waiting around for products to soak in before I can apply my primer or foundation or whatever.  I also appreciated the packaging on this – it was in a plastic bottle with a pump so it was easy to throw in my travel bag and keep sanitary (no dipping fingers into a jar!).

The bad: So given that this product is touted as being oil free, safe for sensitive skin, fragrance free, allergy-tested AND non-comedogenic, I felt pretty comfortable with leaving my sensitive, acne-prone skin in its hands.  That was a mistake.  This made me break out in and around my chin area just a day or two after using it.  I’m not sure what ingredients are in this that caused the breakouts but it was super disappointing.

Repurchase?  Unfortunately not.  I’ll never repurchase a product that causes breakouts as there’s just too many other options out there.  Unfortunately I do have sensitive skin so there are a lot of products out there that work wonderfully for the majority of the population and just don’t work for me.  That said, the new formula could have removed the ingredient(s) that was irritating my skin but I’m just not willing to take the risk, given that while I found it to be a good moisturizer, there was nothing special about it.  However, if you have normal skin and are looking for a lightweight, oil free moisturizer, this may be a good option for you.

Peter Thomas Roth AHA/ABA Acne Clearing Gel – $59.00

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I’ve said many times how much of a fan I am of Peter Thomas Roth products.  Whenever I’m experiencing breakouts I turn to them and 9 times out of 10, they help.  I’ve had this product for 2 years and just recently finished it up.  Which was good timing because it recently expired!  Important to note: This product is not available in Canada.  I purchased this in the US when I was visiting a while back.

The good: This is a fantastic spot treatment for acne, and this is exactly what I used it for over the last 2 years.  It provided great results and would shrink and dry up any breakouts over night.  I found it also helped with fading any old acne scares.

The bad:  Because this contains maximum strength salicylic acid and glycollic acid, it’s drying.  Which, to be honest, is what I want when I’m trying to get rid of breakouts.  But if you overuse it or use it with any other products that contain similar ingredients, you’re likely to end up with flaky, irritated skin.  So you need to use it sparingly and in my opinion, as a spot treatment instead of an overall face product.  Also it is quite expensive!  Because I saw results with this, I was fine to fork over the cash for it – plus it lasted forever.  I literally purchased this bottle 2 years ago and just finished it up a month ago.  You get a lot of product in the bottle and a little goes a long way.  I did notice that as I neared the end of the bottle and the expiry date, it wasn’t as effective as it used to be, but that’s not uncommon.

Repurchase?  Yes!  I love this stuff and will at some point re-purchase it.  It’s disappointing that it’s not available in Canada so I’ll need to pick up a bottle the next time I’m in the US.  I have some other acne spot treatments that I’m trying to use it up but once I’m finished with those, this will be on my shopping list for sure.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup – $44.00 CAD

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This is one product I”m really on the fence on.  I know this foundation is well-loved amongst the masses and considered to be a holy grail product for many.

The good: When I first started using this I really liked it.  I was looking for a full-coverage foundation with some serious staying power and this is a very long-lasting foundation.  I was able to put this on first thing in the morning and by the time I got home at the end of the day, there was still quite a bit of it left on my face.  Which, for me, is rare.  I really struggle trying to get foundation that sticks on my face, even when I touch up halfway through the day.

The bad: Like most long-lasting foundations, this is drying.  The weird thing is that I found after wearing it for a few months, it appeared dryer and dryer on my skin as time went on.  I also didn’t find the staying power as good as it was in the beginning.  I definitely had to use a primer with this, in order to avoid having it sink into my pores and highlighting any dry patches.  Near the end of the day, I’d still have foundation left but it tended to look really patchy and uneven on my face.

Repurchase?: I don’t think so.  I think this is a good quality foundation but it is expensive and while I liked it at first, as time went on it just ended up being too dry for my skin.  I could see this working very well for those with oily skin.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation – $35.00 CAD

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The good:  This is another product that people seem to love and I can understand why.  I started wearing this late last year and was wearing it up until early this year.  What I really liked about it was how clean and simple I found it to apply.  I’d just spray a few spots of it on my face, blend it in with a buffing brush or beauty blender and I was good to go.  It truly gave my skin an airbrushed finish and it felt so light on my face, I hardly felt like I was wearing foundation at all.  I also love the packaging – it’s super light and easy to travel with (I’ve mentioned my sincere dislike for glass bottle foundations).

The bad:  I realized quickly after using this that it wasn’t a long-lasting foundation.  I always carried a powder compact with me to touch up throughout the day because within a few hours of wearing this, I’d get super oily.  Not uncommon for me, but I liked it so much I was okay with doing those touch-ups.  Then back in December I went to renew my Driver’s licence and as a result, needed a new picture.  When I received my new licence in the mail, I was appalled at the picture because I looked like I had stuck my face in a vat of Crisco!  That immediately prompted to me to start searching for a new foundation and I haven’t used this much since.  I think I can get away with using it if I’m just going out for a few hours but no more than that.  I tried wearing this again recently just to confirm that it’s not for me and I noticed that it oxodizes on my face now.  Perhaps it did that all along and I’m just noticing now but it’s just another strike against it.

Repurchase?: Well unfortunately I have 2 of these sitting in my makeup storage because I stocked up on them when I thought this was the best foundation ever.  But I won’t be going back for more once those are done.  Again, I could see this being another option for those with dry skin!

Make Up Forever High Definition Microfinish Powder – $39.00 CAD

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I’ve had this powder forever and I think they’ve since changed the packaging, and perhaps the formula since I purchased this.  Which, in my opinion, is probably a good thing but more on that below.  For whatever reason, I really struggle to get translucent powders to work on my skin.  They always, always get stuck in my pores.  I don’t know why that is but I just steer clear of them now.

The good:  Lately, in an effort to use this up, I’ve been using this to set my concealer and for that purpose it works just fine.  Another plus to this is that it has lasted me a long time. There’s a lot of product in here (which there should be for the price).

The bad: As mentioned above, like any other translucent powder I’ve tried, this sticks in my pores.  It didn’t do anything to set my makeup or keep my face matte during the day.  I also felt it clung to any dry patches I had.  For me, it literally did nothing of what it claimed to do. 😦

Repurchase?: No.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full for Colour-Treated Hair Shampoo – $8.99 CAD

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I’m always on the hunt for the next best shampoo.  I’m pretty picky about what I like in shampoo, mainly because I feel like I have some high maintenance hair.  It’s colour-treated and fine and I subject it to heat styling on a daily basis.  It’s very susceptible to humidity and damage, and doesn’t hold style very well, at least without a ton of product.  Because it’s fine I also deal with oily roots (dry shampoo is my friend!) and product build up.  I used to use John Frieda’s Blonde line years ago and liked it but I can’t remember why I stopped using it. The fact that this was formulated for colour-treated hair and claimed to increase volume was what drew me to purchase this.

The good: This is a bit of a stretch for me because there wasn’t a lot of good things about this, at least in my opinion.  It did have a pleasant scent and my hair did feel clean after using it….and that’s about it.

The bad: This did nothing in terms of adding volume or fullness to my hair.  After using it I found my hair to be pretty limp and lifeless, despite following my usual styling routine (hair primer and volumizing mousse).  I used it a few times and then passed it on to my husband who basically uses up any hair products that I buy and decide I don’t like.

Repurchase?  Nope.

Kenra Volumizing Shampoo – $15.99 CAD (Not pictured – I thought I had saved the bottle but I must have thrown it out!)

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I purchased this a while back as well; it came in a set with the conditioner and a sample size of their heat protectant spray (which was actually pretty good, wish I could remember the name of it but I no longer have the bottle).  At the time I was using the Kenra Hairspray that everyone seems to love (which I’ve since fallen out of love with) and because I was impressed with it, I thought I’d give a Kenra shampoo a try.

The good: So I definitely noticed an increase in volume and body after using this, especially compared to the John Freida shampoo noted above.  I also noticed my hair kept curl/style longer which was nice.

The bad:  I know that some volumizing shampoos can coat hair your hair in order to add volume.  Maybe they all do and some just do so more than others?  I’m not sure about that but what I do know is that this shampoo definitely does that and I didn’t like it.  While my hair had more volume it also felt heavy and weighed down (yes I know I’m contradicting myself!).  Also, if I didn’t coat my hair in the corresponding Kenra Volumizing Conditioner, my hair was just a huge tangled rats nest after getting out of the shower.  The scent of this is pretty strong as well; it didn’t bother me but it’s a super sweet, kind of like that banana cough syrup you had as a kid scent?  I could see some not liking the scent but it doesn’t stick around after you wash your hair, you’d only smell it when shampooing.

Repurchase?: I don’t think so.  I hated how it coated and therefore, tangled and weighed-down my hair.  It also wasn’t cheap!  Again, too many options for shampoos out there so I’ll keep searching!

Jergens BB Body Skin Perfecting Cream – $9.99 CAD

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I’m not one to use self-tanner, even though I probably should because 90% of the year I’m white as a ghost.  I personally just feel that much more confident when I have a hint of colour.  However I’m lazy and most times just can’t be bothered to first of all find a self-tanner that won’t turn me orange, exfoliate, apply self tanner with a glove, wait for it to dry, wash it off, make sure my sheets are dark so they won’t stain….ugh.  However, I came across this at Superstore a few months ago and  I was really intrigued by the multi-purposeness (I don’t think that’s a word but I’m going to use it anyway) of this!  It claims it will hydrate, illuminate, even, firm and correct – all within 5 days of use!  With those claims I couldn’t not pick it up and give it a try.

The good: If you’re lazy like me, this is a fantastic product.  I love that it contains a moisturizer and self-tanner in one and it did both of those jobs well.  I never had to worry about exfoliating before I used this, even though I did on occasion (which was strictly coincidence).  I did use this on my whole body but mostly on my legs as I like having a bit of colour on them in the summer when I tend to wear a lot of skirts and dresses, without nylons.  This would give me a hint of colour without making me look orange at all (note: I used the light/medium shade).  If you’re anything but fair, I’d probably recommend buying the medium to dark shade as the light to medium has a very subtle hint of colour.   I was not consistent with my use of this – sometimes I’d use this several days in a row, then I’d forget for a few and then start using it again.  I never had to worry about washing it off or it transferring to my clothing or bedding.  I applied it in the morning after I showered and by the time (most times before!) I applied my makeup and did my hair, it was dry.

The bad: This does have a bit of that self-tanner smell but it wasn’t overally strong and definitely less than a straight-up self-tanner.  I didn’t notice any firming benefits but because I wasn’t consistent with using this everyday, I can’t fairly judge if it does help with this or not.  Lastly, I found that when I used this and wore a skirt, my legs were so soft and moisturized that I struggled to keep them crossed during the day.  I know that’s a weird remark but it’s true!  I have a bad habit of wanting to sit with my legs crossed all the time so I should probably use this everyday so I can kick this habit.

Repurchase?:  Yes!  I’m going to pick up another one of these this weekend in fact!

Phew!  If you made it all the way to the end of this, I applaud you!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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Loves & Letdowns – June

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Welcome to July!  I’m super behind on posts –  I was away for a little over a week on vacay and lately it’s been super hot here, which means I’ve not been sleeping well, which means I haven’t had much energy to do much at all lately.  Thankfully it sounds like it’s going to be cooler this week so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.   I’ve noticed it seems a little slow in terms of posts for everyone so I guess it’s just that time of year!  Gotta get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts right?

Moving on to my loves and letdowns for the month of June!  Let’s start with my loves:

Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation – $8.99 CAD

I’ve had this foundation for just about 2 months now but I’ve only started using it regularly in the last month.  About a month ago I was breaking out like crazy and I was a little worried that this was one of the products causing it.  Having used this everyday for a few straight weeks I can confirm that this was not the culprit.  Which is great because I really like this foundation!  First off –  the plastic tube packaging is great!  I really dislike foundation in glass bottles – it’s just a matter of time before I drop of the bottle on the floor and smash it to pieces.  I don’t have to worry about that happening with this.

Secondly, in terms of coverage I’d classify this as medium, that could be buildable to full if desired.  My only caution with that is that I think it may look a little cakey if you pile too much of it on.  I still need to wear concealer with it as it doesn’t completely cover the broken capillaries under my eyes and old acne scars.  On my skin this dries to a demi-matte, slightly powdery finish but it doesn’t look dry at all.  My only complaint is that I do get slightly oily about mid-day which is  easily remedied by blotting with powder.  I wear shade 115 which is their lightest shade and it matches my skin tone really well and doesn’t oxidize at all.  I find this applies best for me with a damp beauty blender.  For the price, I’m super impressed with this and definitely plan to re-purchase!

Garnier Skin Renew 5 Second Blur Instant Smoother – $15.99 CAD

I was at Winners last month and they had a bunch of Garnier products in their cosmetics section.  I picked up this primer, read the description, was intrigued and was even more intrigued when I noticed it was priced at  $5!  I figured I didn’t have much to lose by giving it a try for that price!  When I finally cracked it open a little over a month I was pleasantly surprised about how good it was.  It really does most of what it claims: “Our light reflecting technology creates a visible blurring effect: lines and wrinkles are filled, pores and irregularities minimized, shine is mattified.”  It really does blur over large pores (and I have large pores on my nose and cheeks) and any acne scars.  Does it make them disappear completely?  No, but I’ve yet to find a product that successfully does that.  I do have some fine lines under my eyes and unfortunately I don’t find it does much for those.

It does have a very silicone-like, slippery texture which I am personally fond of because I like how it allows my foundation to blend flawlessly into my face.  I use this with the Covergirl foundation I mentioned above and it works wonders on me.  I always have the problem of foundation and powder sinking and sticking into my pores and this has completely solved that problem for me.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the packaging; I find air gets caught in the tube so when I’m trying to remove it I’ll get a puff of air out of it and sometimes a bit of product with it and it’ll go flying across the room.  That doesn’t bother me too much though, and even though I’ve seen this in the drugstore being sold for pretty much triple the $5 I originally paid for it,  I would definitely repurchase this!

Maybelline Volum’ Express the Mega Plush Mascara – $8.99 CAD

I’ve been on the never-ending search for my holy grail mascara for months now and this was my newest candidate.  I was intrigued by the flexible brush as well as the gel-mousse formula so I thought I’d give this one a try.  Overall, I’d say this is a pretty solid mascara.  Is it the most voluminous mascara?  Not for my lashes.  But it did separate and define each lash, didn’t clump and provided really great length.  I liked how it left my lashes feeling quite soft and natural and not hard and crunchy.  There was also minimal smudging and flaking while wearing throughout the day which is really important to me.  I can’t stand having racoon eyes!

My only gripe about this is that I think the flexible wand is a little gimmicky and might contribute to the lack of volume this provides.  I find the flexibility means that the brush can’t grip your lashes as much as a non-flexible brush can.  But the brush itself is quite full and bristly which is a preference of mine.  Another thing I liked – you can build this up quite a bit without it getting clumpy.  Again, it’s not perfect but it’s definitely one that I’d purchase again!

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush – $10 CAD

I’m a bit late on the Real Techniques train but I thought I’d start slow with this Expert Face Brush.  Now I realize how much I’ve been missing out because I absolutely love this brush!  I’ve used it to apply mineral powder foundation, liquid foundation, and finishing powder and it applies them all fabulously!  The bristles are so soft and dense and it gives my skin an airbrushed finish.  I can’t believe how fantastic this brush is for $10!  If you’re looking for a new foundation and/or powder brush I’d highly recommend this one!  I can’t wait to try some of the other brushes they have!

Sephora Beauty on the Fly Travel Bag – $5.95 CAD (No photo)

Apologies for not having a photo of this item; I realized I forgot to include it after I edited the picture and I was too lazy to go back and retake and re-edit the photo! 😦

I purchased one of these way back in April prior to our trip to Mexico.  I used it on that trip, loved it and then my husband eyed it up and stole it for a work trip.  So what is it and why is it so great?  It’s a re-useable, TSA approved bag meant to store your liquids in when you travel.  It’s made of a thick, transparent plastic with a sturdy zipper at the top.  Previously I’ve used ziploc sandwich bags which work fine but would often rip and tear by the end of a one-way trip.  I’m constantly digging into my purse and/or carry-on for chapstick, hand sanitizier and hand cream before, during, and after my flight so I loved how no matter how much I did this, this bag stayed intact and didn’t rip or tear.  I also appreciate the zipper because I often forget to zip the ziploc bags (or I think I zipped it and I actually didn’t) and I’ve had products fall out of my purse.  I  purchased another one of these for my most recent trip to Vegas and it just re-affirmed how much I love it (and why my husband stole my original one!).  I received this free @ Sephora because I purchased 3 travel sized products (the ones around their cash registers) but you can buy it on it’s own for $5.99 and I personally think it’s well worth that and more!  Particularly if you travel a lot!

And now for my letdowns:

Colab Dry Shampoo (Rio) – $7.99 CAD

I’m not sure why I bought this.  I needed another can of dry shampoo and I happened to be in London Drugs and this was sitting right next to the cans of Batiste.  For the record, Batiste is my absolute favourite dry shampoo and I’ve never found anything that even comes close to working as well as it does.  This, and Batiste, were on sale for $7.99 so I picked up a can of each.  The fact that this was invisible is what intrigued me about it but unfortunately it does absolutely nothing to soak up the oil from my roots.  In fact, I almost feel like it makes my hair look and feel greasier/oilier.  It also provides no texture as well so if you’re looking for that from a dry shampoo, this is not the one for you.  On the bright side, I do like the fact that it’s invisible and it has a lovely scent.  But it doesn’t provide what I need from a  dry shampoo so I won’t be repurchasing this.

Dove Original Dry Spray Antiperspirant – $5.97

Antiperspirant and I have a long history together and it hasn’t been a great one.  I sweat.  ALOT.   So I need a good, strong antiperspirant to help me get through the day without pit stains and BO.  That’s probably TMI but it’s true.  I’m always on the hunt for the best antiperspirant and I haven’t found one yet that works for me and this one is no exception.  I liked the concept of this – it’s a dry aerosol spray so it just feels cleaner and more effective when you spray it under your arms.  The things that annoyed me about it were 1) You have to hold the can 15 cm away from your underarm prior to applying it.  I’m not sure who came up with that measurement but it’s ridiculous.  I needed to pull out my ruler to figure that one out.  If you hold it closer you’ll end up with little balls of deodorant under your arms, which is a good look if you’re wearing a sleeveless shirt!  If you don’t hold it close enough it won’t be effective and you’ll smell all day.  Made both mistakes multiple times while trying this out.  2) I hated the smell of this.  I usually always purchase unscented deodorant because a) I have sensitive skin and b) when I wear scented deodorant that’s all I can smell all.day.long.  Wiffs of “Powder Fresh” and “Summer Rain”…..barf!  Anyway I thought this one would be a little lighter and smell similar to Dove soap, which I don’t mind.  Unfortunately the scent of this is like the dove soap scent on steroids and the scent is REALLY overpowering, to the point where I started feeling nauseous by the end of the day because it’s all I could smell.  So, I definitely won’t be repurchasing this but I did manage to find an Unscented men’s version of this that I’m currently trying out so I’ll keep you updated on what I think about that!  #sweatypeopleproblems!

Essence I Love Extreme Volume Mascara – $3.99 CAD

This might just be the worst mascara I’ve ever used.  😦  Good thing it was only $4!   The brush is huge and way too big (and I like big brushes!) and I had mascara all over my eyelids after attempting to apply this.  The first time I wore this I was at home on a Sunday, when I was being lazy and lazing on the couch.  An hour in, I had racoon eyes and flakes under my eyes.  Which was pretty shocking given that I had done absolutely nothing that day – I hadn’t even stepped outside. I can’t imagine what it would look like if I had wore this to work.   So needless to say I won’t be repurchasing this.

And that’s it for this month.  Have a great week!

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Weekend Recap – April 28

A little late in posting this one…I hope you had a good Monday (#oxymoron) and a great weekend!  Mine was somewhat uneventful.  I didn’t do much at all but there were a bunch of things I could have and should have done…such as organize my closet, clean out my basement, rake my yard.  Maybe next weekend…

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One thing I did do was head to Sephora to return those Cover FX drops which didn’t work for me (see post on this here).  While I was in there picked up a couple foundation samples.  I’m currently wearing Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light Foundation and while I like it, I don’t love it.  I’ve almost finished the bottle so I thought I’d take an opportunity to see if there’s something better out there.  The sales clerk at Sephora gave me samples of Clinque’s Super Balanced Makeup and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 H Foundation.  The price of the Lancome foundation scares me ($50) and I hate liquid makeup in glass bottles but I’m willing to give both of these a try.  I’ll let you know how they work for me.

I also snuck into Shoppers Drug Mart and spent some time scanning their makeup aisle and impulsively purchased Rimmel’s BB Radiance Cream. I’ve never tried a BB cream before and this was on sale for $7.99. So far I have to say I’m impressed.  The BB cream was kind of a scary colour when I first applied it but once blended I actually find it to be a really close match to my skin tone.  I also picked up a Stay Matte Pressed Powder for $7.99 and a bottle of Lasting Finish Foundation for $8.99 (can’t find this on their website so now I’m wondering if this has been discontinued?). I’ve been testing the BB cream with the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer I picked up last weekend and I’m liking this combination.  Even moreso when I set it all with the Stay Matte Pressed Powder.  I want to give this trio a try for at least a couple of weeks before I review it, so stay tuned for that.

Lastly, yesterday I had a craving for some chocolate chip cookies. I had a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips in my pantry and  I came across this Betty Crocker recipe online, so I thought I’d whip up a batch. I prefer chewy cookies rather than crisp ones and these delivered.  The only thing I didn’t like was that they were a little flat.  Next time I make these I’ll try substituting the baking soda for baking powder as apparently that can make a difference.

Wishing you a great week!
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Review: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

On Tuesday I finally received my much-anticipated online Sephora purchases, which contained the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops.  There is so much hype out there about this product and almost every review I’ve read has been really positive.  I was also running low on foundation and looking for something new so I thought I’d give these a try.

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If you haven’t heard about these yet, basically the concept is that you can create a customized foundation.  The drops can be mixed with primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, concealer, etc. and mixed to your desired level of coverage.  1 drop equals light coverage, 2 drops equals medium, 3 equals full, etc.  Smart, right?

Unfortunately I’ve been trying since Tuesday to make these work for me and it’s just not happening. I believe the idea is that you can mix these with products that you currently own, use and love but not one of the moisturizers or primers that I mixed in worked.  Below are the combinations I tried:

  • 3 drops Cover FX + 1 squeeze Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
  • 3 drops Cover FX + 1 squeeze Rimmel Stay Matte Primer + 1 squeeze Estee Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer
  • 3 drops Cover FX + 1 or 2 squeeze(s) Estee Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer
  • 2 or 3 drops Cover FX + 1 squeeze Rimmel Stay Matte Primer + 1 pump First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream
  • 2 or 3 drops Cover FX + 2 pumps First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream
  • 2 or 3 drops Cover FX + 1 or 2 scoops Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturizer

A little background on my skin: it’s combination and my t-zone typically gets pretty oily about mid day.  I find it hard to find products that keep my t-zone looking matte but not dry out the rest of my face.  Recently I’ve been using Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Foundation and while I like it, I can’t say I love it.  It really is long wearing but I do find it gets a little dry-looking near the end of the day.

So the first day I mixed up the first combination and omg I can’t even describe how horrible this looked on my skin by the end of the day. When applying it (I used my new Beauty Blender) I found it looked a little dry and noticed it was magnifying my pores. I  managed to get it look somewhat presentable and off to work I went.  Throughout the day it got drier and drier and even emphasized some dry patches on my face that I didn’t even know I had!  It also started breaking up on my skin and my face was oily AND flaky.  I couldn’t wait to get home and scrub my face.

The next few days I played around with the various combinations above but still couldn’t get anything to really work.  When I mixed it using just moisturizer I literally had no foundation left on my face by mid-day.  Saturday I thought I’d give it one more try before deciding to return it (I really wanted to like this!) and I mixed it solely with Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturizer.  I had received a deluxe sample of this with my online Sephora order and wow, it is super, duper moisturizing (if you have really dry skin, I’d really recommend giving it a try). I figured if mixing it with a heavy duty moisturizer still made me look dry there really was no hope. So I mixed it up, applied and while it probably looked the best out of all the combinations that I tried, there was still visible dryness and pore magnification.

I admitted defeat and took it back to Sephora.  Thank goodness for their fantastic return policy!  While I was there I picked up a few samples of some Clinique and Lancome foundations that I wanted to try so I’ll see how those work.

The only positive that I can state about these drops was that the colour was pretty much a perfect match to my skin tone, which is rare.  And actually super impressive given that I selected my shade online using the Shade Finder on the Cover FX website.  Also I do think that these would last a really long time because you only use a few drops at a time.  So while they are pricey, they would have some longevity (which always makes me feel better about expensive purchases).

The other reason I didn’t like these – it was a pain to have to mix up everything up each day.  I feel like I already have so many steps in my morning beauty routine and the last thing I need is to add another.  I personally didn’t like the idea of mixing the drops and other product(s) in the palm of my hand as they recommend (too messy and too hard to mix properly), so I mixed them in a lid of an empty container.  I then had to rinse and clean that lid the next morning and along with whatever mixing tool I used.  I suppose that probably sounds a little lazy; maybe I’d feel different about doing if I actually liked the product but I kind of feel like I’d really need to LOVE it in order to make those extra steps worth it.

So that’s my review.  Not a product that worked for me but obviously it works for many others out there!  If you’ve given these a try I’d love to hear your take on them!  Meanwhile I’m still on the hunt for my perfect foundation…

Find it: Sephora online; CoverFX website

Cost: $44.00 CAD for 0.5 oz.

Until next time!
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