March Loves & Letdowns

March Loves & Letdowns

I’m a little behind on this month’s favourites – but on the bright side I’m actually doing it this month.  I completely forgot to do February favourites!  Oops!

I’m going to jump right in – here’s what I loved this month:

Gap Open Front Cardi: I love cardi’s any time of year, but especially for Spring and Summer.  This one is super lightweight so it’s perfect to throw overtop of a t-shirt or tank in the morning when it’s still a little chilly out.  They offer this sweater in a wide variety of colours; I selected it in Heather Grey colour but I’m tempted to pick up another in Turquoise or Blue.

claassic maggie

Bath & Body Works Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla Hand Soap: I can’t get enough of this hand soap – it smells exactly like my favourite warm drink from Starbucks – their Cinnamon Dolce Hot Chocolate.  Love it!

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Tarte Maracuja Oil: This was included in a Tarte set I bought on Black Friday and I was a little hesitant to use it as I haven’t really had much success with using oils on my face.  My skin is super sensitive and I usually break out when I try to use them.  This one is different though!  I’ve been using this off and on throughout the month as a night-time moisturizer and mixed into my foundation in lieu of primer and it works so well!  I totally expected it to leave me greasy and oily by the end of the day when I mixed it into my foundation but it just made my skin look glowy and healthy and my foundation applied like a dream.  Used as a nighttime moisturizer, I couldn’t believe how supple and smooth my skin felt the next day.  I’m about halfway through my little mini bottle of it but I plan on purchasing the full size, or at least another of the same size.

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CoverGirl TruBLEND Blush (Light Rose): This might be one of the best drugstore blushes I’ve ever tried.  Be warned this particular shade is quite light so it probably wouldn’t work well for those with darker skin tones.  But for any of my fair-skinned friends, I’d recommend this.  It’s a really soft pink-ish peach and you can build it to your desired intensity.  On top of that the formula is great – it’s silky, soft and buttery.  Highly recommend this!

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Frilly Lilly Argentinian Lemon Shea Butter Creme:  I’ve found my new favourite hand cream!  Frilly Lilly is a local mani/pedi/waxing boutique with locations in Alberta & British Columbia, and California.  I’ve been using this cream for probably a month and a half and it has really helped my chronically dry hands.  It’s not at all greasy – it absorbs quickly but moisturizes really well.  I also love that it doesn’t leave white marks on darker clothes if you touch them before it’s absorbed (one of my biggest pet peeves with hand cream!).  I picked up the Argentinian lemon scent and at first I wasn’t sure about it but I’ve grown to really like it – it’s very refreshing.

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NYX Butter Gloss (Angel Food Cake / Strawberry Cheesecake): I’ve talked about how much I love the NYX Butter Glosses before and that hasn’t changed.  I gravitate towards lip glosses and these are some of the best I’ve tried.  They’re glossy and pigmented and so easy to wear.  Angel Food Cake is a lovely nude/mauve shade and Strawberry Cheesecake is a warm medium pink.  I really haven’t been wearing any other lip products aside from these this month!

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L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer (Blonde):  I have to admit I’m kind of lazy when it comes to brows – half the time I forget to do them.  However this eyebrow pencil is so good I’ve pretty much done my brows every day this month.  I can’t believe the difference between this and my previously beloved e.l.f eyebrow pencil – they don’t even compare!  Not only is the shade perfect for me, the precise tip makes it so easy to fill and define my brows (hence the name).  I’ve heard others say that this is a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz – not having tried it, I can’t confirm but if that’s true, but I see why everyone was going crazy over them if they are indeed similar.

Letdown:

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NYX HD Concealer: I’ve been researching new concealers for a while and I had heard some good things about this one.  Unfortunately this did not work for me.  The reason: it’s ridiculously drying!  It seemed a little dry when I initially applied it but it only got worse as the day went on.  I used this to cover blemishes so I can’t imagine using this as an undereye concealer – it would totally emphasize and enhance any fine lines.  So this was a disappointment and the search for a new concealer continues…

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Maggie’s love: Pet Kind Wild Pacific Salmon Treats

Maggie wanted to join in and share her love for the month.  She’s really been enjoying these salmon treats that I found at Homesense for $6.99.  Love that these are a Canadian product and made with wild pacific salmon.  And they stink so of course Maggie just loves them.  This is the second bag we’ve gone through and I haven’t seen these again at Homesense, so I’m going to have to track down a retailer here that sells them.

What were your loves and letdowns for March?

Thanks for reading!
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Drugstore Haul & First Impressions

Drugstore Haul

Happy Thursday!

I hope you’re having a good week – or at least a better one than me!  I had to take a bit of a break from blogging over the last few days as I was down and out with a stomach virus/flu and it literally knocked me out for a little less than a week.  I’ll spare you the details but there were moments where I just wanted to be put out of my misery.  Thankfully it’s seems to have run its course and I’m starting to feel more human again so now the blogging can continue.

So, on to the post at hand!  I did a bit of a drugstore haul a while ago and I’m anxious to share with you what I picked up and what my first impressions are:

covergirl makeup - try blend blush, oh sugar lip balm, plumpify mascara

CoverGirl TruBlend Blush (Light Rose 100): Love this!  I’m always sucked in by ombre or marbled products and a lot of the time, they never meet my expectations.  This one has defied the odds though!  This is a peachy pink shimmery blush that isn’t super pigmented – but I’m okay with that. I prefer buildable blushes and this falls in that category.  Note that I am quite pale so this likely wouldn’t work well on those with deeper skin tones but overall I’m impressed with it – it’s smooth and silky and blends and builds really well.  I might just pick up another shade!

CoverGirl OhSugar! (Cupcake):  I’ve been using this for probably the last month and a half and it’s 3/4 of the way done.  My first impression was that I didn’t really like it – I know these are supposed to be sheer but this shade in particular has almost no colour (I didn’t even bother uploading the picture of the swatch because there’s literally nothing to see). Which I could live with if I felt like it offered great hydration….but I’m not sure it does that either.  I know everyone is comparing these to the Fresh Sugar lip balms but I personally don’t feel they really match up.  I always felt the lasting effects of the Fresh version for at least a couple hours after application but with this, it’s disappeared not too long after I’ve applied it.  I might try another shade at some point once I’m done with this one but I think I’m going to stick with my tried and true Dr Pepper Lip Smackers! 🙂

Drugstore mascara - Covergirl Plumpify Mascara

CoverGirl Plumpifyier Blastpro Mascara: I’ve only been using this about a week and so far, I think it’s okay.  It gives me decent length and separation but I’m not seeing much volume and thickness.  Ironic given that this is supposed to provide 50% more volume.  I think the problem is the size of the brush – this thing is huge and I personally like big mascara brushes!  It really makes it difficult to get the wand close to the roots of my lashes.  The good thing is I haven’t experienced much clumping with this EXCEPT for on my lower lashes – would not recommend this for them.  The wand is just too big and bulky for that small of a space.   So far though, no flaking or smudging which is nice.  I need to test this out a little more to see if it’s something I’d repurchase though.

pink nail polish - essie groove is in the heart

Essie Groove Is In The Heart: I have no clue why I picked this up – I just bought 3 pink nail polishes from the Hello Kitty! OPI Collection a couple months ago, so the last thing I needed was another pink polish.  Regardless, I did and I can’t say I’m crazy about it.  While the neon pink shade is gorgeous, the formula sucks.  It’s thick, gooey and gloopy and nearly impossible to apply.  Chipping wasn’t too bad, I went about 3 days before I experienced my first one (and for Essie, that’s actually quite impressive).  I might try adding some polish thinner to see if that helps but I can’t say I’d recommend this.

coral nail polish - lounge lover

Essie Lounge Lover: I watched a Youtuber (I think it was Jenny Claire Fox) swatch and rave about this and I had to pick it up – it just seemed like the perfect colour for Spring/Summer.  And it is – it’s a gorgeous bright peachy pink shade and this formula is great: creamy, smooth and if you’re really good at nails, you could probably get away with one coat (I always have to do two).  Pretty happy with this one!

duochrome nail polish - sally hansen black and blue

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Black & Blue):  I’ve had this for over a month now and I’ve used it twice and I was really impressed!  The formula is great – it’s on the thinner side so you need 2 coats minimum but it just glides on my nails like silk!  It also lasted a good solid week without chipping.  I’m a huge fan of SH’s wide brush – it makes it so easy to get perfect application every single time.  I can’t believe I don’t have more shades in this line in my collection, I’m going to have to pick up a few more and see if they’re just as good as this one is.

drugstore makeup - hard candy tiki bronzer, punch blush, stroke of genius eyeliner

Hardy Candy So Baked Bronzer (Tiki): This is called a bronzer but I’m not really sure it classifies as one.  I’d consider it to be more of a highlighter given how light it is – and I’m pretty fair!  To be fair (haha!), this is the lightest shade out of their line and there are darker options available.  However I chose this one as I had heard good things about it on Youtube.  I think it’s a decent drugstore highlight but I’m not sure about its longevity, it appears to fade halfway through the day.

Hard Candy Glow All the Way Ombre Blush (Punch): I saw this and I couldn’t not buy it – it’s so pretty!  Again, this is classified as a blush but I kind of see it more like a blush/highlighter.  It’s pretty frosty and shimmery and you definitely don’t need to highlight after using this.  I think the colour is pretty, it’s quite pigmented but I’m finding the lasting power iffy.  Still testing!

Hard Candy Stroke of Genius Marker (Little Black Dress): This might be one of the longest lasting liquid eyeliners I’ve ever tried from the drugstore – and I’ve tried many.  This literally does stay put for 12 hours, or more if needed! It’s also extremely pigmented and glides on smoothly. Two problems: it’s a pain in the @ss to remove.  I have to use an oil-based waterproof makeup remover to take it off and even then I end up with little black flakes everywhere.  Secondly, once it has dried, you cannot go over it again and fix any mistakes; it dries hard so you might as well just start your eye makeup all over again.  I think this is a great option for special occasions, but not for everyday use.  Oh and I’m skeptical about the lash growth serum but I haven’t used this enough to state if it actually does anything one way or another.

drugstore makeup - nyc expert last lip colour creamy mauve

NYC Expert Last Satin Matte Lip Color (Creamy Mauve): When I saw these lip products were 2 for $4 I didn’t see how I could go wrong.  I remembered reading a blog somewhere that raved about them and lately there seems to be plenty of favorable reviews on NYC’s products so I didn’t see the harm in trying them out.  I swore I had picked out two different shades at the time but when I got home I realized both were Creamy Mauve.  I didn’t think that would be such a big deal because the colour looked pretty nice.  Then I applied it.  Ick.  On my lips it applied a really unflattering frosty/milky pastel pink.  In addition I think calling them matte is stretch – the formula was really creamy and rich and didn’t dry down to a matte finish at all.  It’s actually a good formula but they need to get the shade description straight.  Anyway, this was pretty much a fail for me, thankfully it was only a $4 fail!

drugstore makeup - nix soft matte lip creams, butter gloss, ibiza, milan, angel food cake

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Milan/Ibiza): Me and matte lip products don’t get along, given my naturally dry lips.  However I’ve heard that these are pretty comfortable and now that Shoppers Drug Mart is carrying the NYX line, I couldn’t resist picking out a few to try.  Overall I’d say they are less drying than other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, but alas, they are still drying.  I have to make sure I’m having a good lip day before deciding to wear one of these – meaning my lips are hydrated, smooth and free from any peeling or flaking.  Even so, they tend to highlight every line and/or imperfection on my lips (although Milan is guilty of this moreso than Ibiza).  However the colours are glorious – so pigmented and rich!  Milan is described as a “mid toned, blue toned pink”…I tend to describe it more as a vibrant rosy pink – either way it’s very wearable.  Ibizia is described as a “matte deep rose pink”…I personally see it as more a vibrant pink/coral.  This seems like a perfect shade for spring/summer but it makes my teeth look so yellow, as orange-toned shades do.  Guess I’ll just wear it and smile with my mouth closed.  😉  Even though I’m struggling to wear these, I love how beautiful the shades are and I want to figure out a way to wear them. so I’m going to try and find a lip primer that I can wear underneath to see if I can make it work (if you have any recommendations, I’d appreciate them!)

NYX Butter Gloss (Angel Food Cake): I’m a big fan of NYX’s Butter Gloss in Tiramisu and I know that Angel Food Cake is popular as well so I figured I’d give it a try.  I applied it once and I was instantly a fan. Both shades are just your lips but better shades and so easy and comfortable to wear.  I’m a big gloss fan though so if you are too I’d recommend these!

drugstore makeup - l'oreal the super slim infallible eyeliner

L’Oreal Voluminious Superstar Liquid Eyeliner: I love trying new liquid eyeliners, especially from the drugstore.  Okay, I only buy my eyeliners from the drugstore, I can’t justify paying anything over $15 for them.  One of my favourite liquid eyeliners is the L’Oreal Infalliable version below so I had high expectations of this.  I love the shape of the tip on this – it makes doing a wing so much easier.  The problem is, it smudges like crazy.  If I use to line the inner half of my eye and I touch my eye or if my eyes water (which they always do), I’ve got black smudges everywhere.  I’m not sure why they didn’t use the same formula as the Infalliable but I won’t be repurchasing this.0001-171356063

L’Oreal Infalliable Super Slim 12H Liquid Eyeliner: One of my favourite drugstore liners, read the reasons why here.

e.l.f. Angeled Blush Brush

e.l.f Angled Blush Brush:  I have a few of e.l.f’s brushes and I’ve always been very impressed with them.  This one has been a bit of a let down so far – I’m not sure if it’s just not packed tightly enough or if it’s just the bristles themselves but I have a hard time getting it to pick up product.  It seems works well to blend blush out though!

Olay Gentle Clean Wet Cleansing Cloths
drugstore skin care – olay gentle clean wet cleansing cloths

Olay Gentle Clean Wet Cleansing Cloths: My favourite makeup removing wipes – details here.

drugstore makeup - lip smacker dr pepper lip balm

Bonne Bell Lipsmackers (Dr Pepper): Had to pick up a few of my favourite lip balms!  Find out why these are my favourite here.

And that wraps up my drugstore haul.  Have you tried any of these products?  What products have you tried from the drugstore recently?  Let me know below.

Thanks for reading!

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Used & Abused – Product Empties

Product Empties

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an empties post and my basket overfloweth so this was long overdue.  So on to it!

HAIR PRODUCTS

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I talk about Batiste all the time on my blog and I did a review on it very early on into my blog.  I only wish they’d bring more scents to Canada – the Floral, Tropical and Fresh scents are the only ones I’ve seen stocked regularly in store.  It’d be nice if there was more selection as I know they definitely make quite a few different scents than just those 3.  Won’t stop me from using it though!

Repurchase: Yup!

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Chi Magnified Volume Finishing Spray: This made my list of Top 15 of 2015 Products because it does what a hairspray is supposed to do.  I know that doesn’t seem like much but me and hairspray don’t typically get along.  My hair is stubborn and this shows it who’s boss.  If you have problem hair like me, I’d recommend it!

Repurchase: Yes

Paul Mitchell Color Protect Daily Shampoo: Another product on my Top 15 of 2015 (God I’m boring!) but I’m estatic to have finally found a shampoo that works for me (it’s been a long journey, believe me).  This moisturizes my fine hair just the right amount and leaves it feeling silky and smooth.  Also because I colour my hair using a shampoo with colour-protecting properties is important to me so I appreciate that too.  I’m already on my third bottle of this.

Repurchase: Yes

David Baba for WildAid Bohemian Beach Spray: I bought this at Winners quite a few years ago and I always threw it in my travel bag to use on beach days.  I haven’t used many beach/sea salt sprays but I was pretty impressed with this one.  It definitely gave my hair some texture and a bit of wave (which is something given my hair is naturally stick straight).  I had to be careful not to overuse it though as too much of it made my hair crunchy and sticky.  I had about 1/2 a bottle left of this but I had to dump it out as it was starting to smell a little funky and looked like it was discoloured.  I’d love to be able to find this again but I haven’t been lucky enough to come across it.

Repurchase: Yes

BATH & BODY

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Radox Time Out Herbal Bath (Lavender & Mimosa): I purchased this bubble bath in the clearance section at Superstore later last year for something like $3.  I’ve used bubble baths from this brand before and had always been happy with them.  I like having lavender-scented bath products around for when I am struggling to sleep; there’s nothing like a lavender-scented bubble bath to drift me into dreamland.  This definitely does the job but I don’t see myself making a point of repurchasing this; I liked it but I just picked it up because it’s on sale.  No complaints with it at all though!

Repurchase: No

Delectable Vanilla & Cream Super Smoothing Body Polish: Mmmm this stuff smells divine – like a delicious vanilla cake.  The scent won me over immediately but I also love that it’s a gentle yet effective body scrub.  If you’re looking for a super intense scrub this probably isn’t for you but my sensitive skin loves this stuff.  I’ve tried the Strawberries and Cream scent too and it’s equally as amazing.

Repurchase: Yes

Ombra Aromatic Foam Bath (Berries): Ombra makes my favourite Eucalyptus bubble bath and I actually received this mini bottle when I purchased that exact product.  This worked just as well as the Eucalyptus version but it smelled like cranberries.  It foams up well and the bubbles don’t dissipate which is key to a good bubble bath.

Repurchase: Yes

Delectable Coconut & Cream Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream:  I love this hand cream but I hated the scent.  And I love coconut-scented things!  But this just smells too synthetic to me, kind of like one of those fuzzy car air fresheners that hang off the rear-view mirror.  So while I wouldn’t buy this lotion in this particular scent, I know I’d be happy with the vanilla or strawberry versions.

Repurchase: Yes

SKINCARE

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Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water: Another repeat offender in my empties – I’ve been using this for years mainly as my eye makeup remover, sometimes as my all-my-makeup remover when I’m feeling lazy. I did a full review on it here.  I’m happy with it – it works great and I have no complaints with it but I kind of feel like trying something new.  We’ll see.

Repurchase: Yes

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief: This is a fantastic moisturizer for dry/dehydrated skin!  I have combination skin but it made such a difference in the dry patches that I sometimes have flare up.  I also loved it as an overnight moisturizer if my skin was feeling parched – I’d wake up the next morning with super soft, re-hydrated skin.  I particularly loved the gel texture of this – I found it be to really cooling and soothing.  I didn’t really find that it did anything for wrinkles or fine lines though so I wouldn’t buy it for that reason.

Repurchase: Yes

Too Cool for School Egg Cream Sheet Mask: Maybe I haven’t found the right one yet but I’m not sold on sheet masks. I haven’t tried a lot of them but the ones I have tried haven’t done anything amazing to my skin that I feel I couldn’t get from just a regular face mask in a tube or bottle.  I had high hopes for this one but again, it just fell into that “ok” category.  My skin felt moisturized after – yes.  But that only lasted for about an hour or so and then my skin was back to way it was.  Perhaps you need to use these regularly to see lasting benefits but that would get really expensive.  I’d much rather spend more money on mask in a jar or bottle that will last me months than continually buy these.  Anyway back to this mask – I kind of expected this to smell like eggs but it didn’t thank god (gag – that would have been gross); it had more of a light floral scent.  No issues there.  I did find it a little difficult to apply as there was a sheet of thin plastic mesh you had to remove first and I ended up ripping the mask trying to do that.  Ugh.  Anyway I got it on and I found it to be quite goopy/tacky although once I took it off and rubbed the serum into my skin the tackiness disappeared.    One last thing I will say about sheet masks in general though – they will force you to relax.  It’s pretty much impossible to do anything but sit there and will it to stay on your face.  So if you’re in need of some relaxation, you might want to give one a try.

Repurchase: No

BareVitamins Skin Rever-Upper: I’ve mentioned before that I just don’t do thick moisturizers in the morning.  My skin takes forever to absorb anything so I don’t have time to sit and wait.  Which is why I like this stuff!  I have a more detailed review on it here but in short, it’s lightweight and absorbs quickly but still leaves my skin moisturized.

Repurchase: Yes

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream: Eye creams are another thing that I just can’t ever get to work for me.  There hasn’t been one that I’ve tried that’s done a darn thing.  No exception here – this did absolutely nothing. Note that I rarely have dark circles or puffiness but I didn’t even find that it moisturized my under eye area.  Despite that, I was trying to use it up but I contaminated it when I had my eye infection so there’s still a good 1/2 of the tube left.  Can’t say I’m super torn up about that.

Repurchase: No

Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic Acid Moisturizer: This was the very first product I reviewed here on my blog (a few months short of a year now – time flies!).  This is another product I’ve used for years and I’ve kind of fallen out of love with it because I don’t find it works as well as it used to on me.  I was using it twice a day however, so I feel like my skin got a bit too used to it and it stopped being so effective.  Either way, I did see results when I used this – my skin was clearer and less prone to breakouts, it helped fade old scars, and decrease redness.  And as I write I feel like I want to go purchase another tube of this, just to have on hand and use a couple times a week.  The only thing that bugs me is the price – but one tube would typically last me 6 months..  So if you’re a fan of glycolic acid, I’d recommend this!

Repurchase: Yes

Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes

Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes: These are my go-to makeup remover wipes – I’ve tried a few different brands and types and I always come back to these because they work.  They’re gentle on my skin yet strong enough to actually remove a face full of makeup, including eye makeup.  They also stay moist right through to the last wipe – I hate it when wipes dry out halfway through the package.  Most importantly for me – no breakouts!  I always pick up a package of these before I travel anywhere.

Repurchase: Yes

Sephora Collection Express Cleansing Wipes – These used to be my go-to makeup remover wipes – but I think they’ve since changed the formula.  I wasn’t able to remove all my makeup with just one of these – I often had to use 2 or 3.  Then, halfway through the package, they dried up. Which is surprising given they have the plastic tab to seal them.  These are double the price of the Olay ones I mentioned above but don’t work near as well.

Repurchase: No

MAKEUP

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 5 in 1 Foundation

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation: I rave about this often because it’s my favourite foundation to date.  This made my Top 15 of 2015 for a reason; full review here.

Repurchase: Yes

Almay Clear Complexion Concealer: This was an okay concealer, but I’m not sure I’d re-purchase it again.  It provided a good amount of coverage but I found it to be pretty dry, which is most likely related to the fact that it contains salicylic acid in it.  It’s supposed to help to clear up any blemishes but I honestly didn’t notice any difference.  And it’s use is limited because of that – you most definitely can’t put this under your eyes.  However it didn’t cause any additional breakouts so that’s something!

Repurchase: No

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Buxom Big & Bushy Mascara: This is kind of a horrible name for a decent mascara.  I had just started using this when I got an eye infection last month and I had to chuck it before it’s time because I didn’t want to risk re-infecting my eye.  This has my kind of brush – a wand with full with “natural” (not silicone) bristles.  It provided some pretty good volume but I wouldn’t say it was massive as the description states.  It also references maximum length which I can’t really agree with – it gave a good amount of length.  Overall I feel I can obtain similar results with a number of drugstore mascaras though.

Repurchase: No

Covergirl The Super Sizer Mascara: This was my second time purchasing this mascara and even though I loved the first tube I purchased, this time I was kind of meh about this.  First off, my brush was wonky when I opened it – not sure if it went into the tube weird when it was packaged or what but the wand was all bent.  I did my best to straighten it out but it didn’t seem to function normally as a result.  I also experienced way more clumping this time, whereas I was able to comb any clumps out no-problem with my last tube.  If this had been my experience the first time I tried this mascara, I never would have re-purchased it. I’m hoping I just had a lemon.

Repurchase: On the fence.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara: This was another “meh” mascara.  It had a really weirdly shaped brush – similar to an S shape and it was quite large and fluffy.  Which normally I would like, but because of the S shape, I found it hard to apply evenly.  It did give me some decent volume but it flaked like crazy.  No go for me.

Repurchase: No

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: This little sample introduced me to my new favourite mascara that didn’t come from the drugstore.  I haven’t purchased a non-drugstore mascara in ages because I never found one that was worth the extra cash.  This one is.  Crazy volume, length, thickness, super black formula, definition.  The list goes on and on.  It checks all the boxes but be warned – it does flake.  I find using no more than 2 coats lessens the flaking but the good far outweighs the bad for me with this guy!

Repurchase: Yes

L’Oreal Infalliable Super Slim 12H Liquid Eyeliner: This is one of my favourite drugstore eyeliners.  It stays put all day, is super black and the slim tip makes it easy to draw a precise line.  My dislike is also the slim tip – it’s flexible so it damages easily and once it’s damaged you might as well just chuck the whole thing.  I tend to be a little hard on my eyeliner so I find I go through these quicker than I would like; however I experienced the same issue with the Stila Eyeliner that everyone raves about and it was much more expensive.   I get similar results with this one so I’ll just stick with these as they are about half the price!

Repurchase: Yes

e.l.f Eyelid Primer: This is the best “drugstore” eyelid primer I’ve ever tried. I still can’t believe its is only $3!  Full review here.

Repurchase: Yes

Too Faced Shadow Insurance: My favourite non-drugstore eyeshadow primer!  It made my top 15 of 2015; love this stuff!

Repurchase: Yes

 

Lipsmacker Dr. Pepper Lip Balm

Lipsmackers Dr Pepper Lip Balm: My favourite lip balm ever, hands down.  I’ve been wearing Lip Smackers since I was in elementary school…so let’s just say that it’s been a very long time.  I almost had a heart attack last year when they said that they were potentially no longer making Lip Smackers – thank goodness someone stepped up and continued production.  Out of all the flavours I’ve tried, the Dr. Pepper one is the best – it gives my lips a hint of colour and smells like my favourite soda.  Can’t go wrong!

Phew and that was everything!  Apparently I need to do these more often as this was much too long.  If you read it all, or even just a portion – thanks for reading!

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Used & Abused – Product Empties

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It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so I’m long overdue.  As you can see from the picture above, I’ve been hanging on to all these empty and used up products for a while and it was time to finally throw them out – and share my thoughts on them with you!  I’ve combined products into categories for ease of reading.

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HAIR PRODUCTS

Batiste Dry Shampoo:  I’ve used up 3 bottles of this (possibly more – I may have inadvertently thrown out a couple) so I obviously like it.  I’ve tried others, and they just don’t compare.  I can get away with only washing my hair 2-3 times a week versus every day (my hair is fine and greases up easily).  It absorbs oil and gives me a little bit of volume and it smells great.  I used to be able to get the Cherry scent here but for a while now I’ve only been able to find the floral, fresh and tropical scents.  The fresh scent isn’t my favourite – reminds me of laundry soap.  I don’t mind the floral version, but out of the 3, the tropical scent is my favourite.  Lastly, you can’t beat the price of these – I typically purchase them at Winners or Homesense and pay $6.99 a bottle.  A bottle typically lasts me 2 weeks, which given how much I use it, is impressive.

Repurchase: Yes

Amika Undone Texture Spray: This past summer I visited the Birchbox store and made my own Birchbox.  I included this in my box and was really excited to try it out.  My first impression of this wasn’t great and unfortunately my opinion didn’t change after I finished this up.  It kind of clumped and tangled my hair together and left it a matted mess.  You can read the review here.

Repurchase?: No

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Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo:  The salon I go to is an Aveda exclusive salon (meaning they only use Aveda products) and my hairdresser uses this shampoo on me every time I’m in for a cut and colour.  This isn’t the first bottle I’ve gone through – I’ve used this off and on over the last few years.   I’ve usually been pretty happy with it but going through this last bottle made me realize that it dries out my hair. And my hair already tends to be dry given that its colour-treated and subjected to heat styling each day.  So I finished this up but I don’t see myself purchasing this again.

Repurchase: No

Kenra Volume Spray Super Hold Finishing Spray 25: This is another product that I’ve been using for quite a while – at least two years  I think.  I bought it after hearing Kate Bryan from the Small Things Blog (one of my favourite bloggers who has the most fabulous hair) rave about it and highly recommend it.  And when I first started using, I did like it.  It’s a very fine finishing spray that provides a medium to strong hold.  It takes a lot to get this to build up and feel stiff or sticky.  Which is a good thing!  But my hair is weird and after a while products just seem to stop working for me.  Which is what happened with this.  About halfway through this can, I just couldn’t get it to hold my bangs in place, or my style in place.  So I finished it up and looked for something else.

Repurchase: No

Living Proof Prime Style Extender: This is the first product I ever tried from Living Proof.  Initially I was intrigued by this because my hair tends to fall flat with even the slightest bit of humidity or with a tiny gust of wind.  Given that ‘stye extender’ was in the name, I thought I could benefit from this.  And it definitely does work.  I’d apply a dime size of this to freshly washed hair before any using any of my usual styling products and then I’d style as usual.  Despite adding an extra product to my lineup, I appreciated that doing so didn’t add any buildup or greasiness to my hair (which I’m prone to).  And, my style definitely lasted longer (although it wasn’t completely fool-proof).  The only thing I don’t like about this is the price.  Unfortunately none of Living Proofs’ products are cheap and the full-size of this runs for about $25.  I always purchased the travel size for $15 and it would last me about 6 months.  So given that this lasts a while, I can justify the price.

Repurchase: Yes

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner:  I picked these up for travel purchases and because I wanted to give their no frizz line a try.  I typically don’t experience frizz when humidity hits – my hair just goes flat.  This specifically stated it blocked humidity so I was interested to see if it would work for me.  Unfortunately I didn’t find it worked great for that particular purpose.  I still suffered from flat hair on humid days.  I did notice that this made my hair feel noticeably smoother though.  So perhaps if frizz is your nemesis, this may work great!

Repuchase: No

FACE PRODUCTS

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Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water: I did a full review on this earlier this year and nothings changed, I still love it.  This is my go-to makeup remover and I’ve been using it for years.  It’s a little pricey but it’s gentle on my skin and so effective!  I use it daily.  Love that it comes in pump form too!

Repurchase: Yes

St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub: This was one of products I first reviewed on my blog and at the time, I loved it.  It smelled so.freaking.good, it was just the right amount of scrubbiness and the price was right.  Then I discovered (surprise, surprise!), it was causing breakouts.  Seriously, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing I can use! So I stopped using it on my face and used it in the shower instead, just to use it up.  I honestly think if you can use this and not breakout from it that its one of the best drugstore scrubs out there though.

Repurchase: No

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Gentle Micellar Solution: When I ran out of the Sephora makeup remover/micellar water noted above and I couldn’t make it to Sephora, I picked this up at Shopper’s Drug Mart to hold me over.  I didn’t really expect to like it but I was pleasantly surprised.  I felt this performed similarly to the Sephora option, although it didn’t quite take off my eye makeup as well.  In addition, I hated the packaging.  There’s no pump, so I had to “pour” it onto a cotton pad and rarely did it always go where I intended, or distribute as much (or as little) as I wanted.  I think I got this on sale for $6.99 but I definitely wouldn’t pay more than that for it – if you’re comparing it to Sephora’s version , this actually ends up being more expensive so I probably wouldn’t re-purchase this unless I was in a bind.

Repuchase: Yes and no (explanation above)

BATH & BODY

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Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing Hand Soap (Bourbon Street Buttercream): I love BB&W hand soaps but I won’t purchase the deep cleansing type any longer.  I didn’t realize these contain polyethylene (aka microbeads), which if you weren’t aware, are super bad for the environment (read more about it here).  I now only purchase the foaming hand soaps and hopefully B&BW will take action to remove microbeads from all of their products soon.  FYI this scent is no longer available but it was nice but nothing special – similar to a vanilla cupcake.

Repurchase: No

Bath & Body Works Body Scrub (Vanilla Bean Noel): This is by far, my favourite BB&W scent.  I love it so much that last year, I purchased this body scrub.  I didn’t realize this had glitter in it – which at first I thought I would hate but it didn’t stick to my skin so that wasn’t an issue.  Unfrotunately this also contains polyethylene so I won’t be repurchasing it.  Which is too bad because I actually felt like it worked pretty well.  Not worth sacrificing our oceans for though!

Repurchase; No

Cake Supremely Rich Bath & Shower Gel (Desserted Island): I’ve spoken about these bubble baths/shower gels previously and how much I love them.  I find these giant bottles at Winners or HomeSense for $14.99 and they last me months of religious use.  They work really well as a bubble bath or as a shower gel but I mainly use them for bubble bath.  Using just a dollop in the bathtub results in a generous amount of frothy bubbles that last a while.  Plus these all smell amazing – this particular scent smells slightly sweet and of coconut.  Highly recommend these guys!

Repurchase: Yes

HAND LOTIONS

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The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream: If you can’t tell, I go through a lot of hand lotions.  This one was a bit of a letdown for me.  First impression was that I liked it – it seemed moisturizing and the scent was pleasant.  But the more I used this the more I realized how overpowering the smell of this was. It’s supposed to be almond scented, but in my opinion it was more perfume-like.  Plus, I HATED the packaging – I could never get the cap back on and when I neared the end, trying to squeeze the last drop out of this squishy foil material is next to impossible.

Repurchase?: No

L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream: This is a classic hand cream that I always end up going back to…because it actually works.  It has a very light, pleasant scent and the shea butter moisturizes my hands without feeling greasy or oily.  You can’t go wrong with this.

Repurchase: Yes

EOS Hand Lotion (Berry Blossom): I’m not a fan of EOS lip products so I’m not sure why I bought this.  Figured it would be easy to throw in my purse I guess.  And it was.  And it smells good.  But that’s where the positives ends.  This could possibly be one of the worst hand lotions I’ve ever used.  It had such a thin consistency that I barely felt like I had put hand cream on; plus it had zero moisturizing benefits.  I hated the hard plastic bottle too – guaranteed there’s still product in there but it’s so hard that you can’t even squeeze it out.  Wouldn’t recommend this.

Repurchase?: No

The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cream:  I love coconut scented things and this was a pretty good one!  It smelled authentically like coconut but it was a light scent, nothing too strong.  The lotion itself was light but it absorbed well and left my hands feeling soft and moisturized – for a couple hours anyway.  I wouldn’t say it’s the most moisturizing lotion I’ve ever used but it was a good one for the summer when I don’t need intense moisture.

Repurchase; Yes

Soap & Glory Hand Food: Soap & Glory is not a widely available brand around these parts; a few of the Shopper’s Drug Marts close to me have a small selection of their products, usually situated on an end of an aisle. I came across this travel sized hand cream in the clearance section and it sounded interesting so I bought it.  I think I paid $4 for it which was reasonable.  What I loved most about this was the scent – it smelled like sparkling lemonade.  The hand cream itself was pretty good too – it was thicker so I definitely noticed a difference after using this.  This did take a bit of time to absorb into my skin though. Despite that, if I can ever find this again, I’d definitely re-purchase it.

Repurchase?: Yes

Nivea Smooth Replenishing Hand Cream : Another travel sized version to throw in my purse.  This to me was just your everyday drugstore hand lotion.  Had the slight perfumey scent and was pretty basic, despite having macadamia nut oil in it.   I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it.  Don’t see myself picking it up in the full-size though!

Repurchase?: No

MASCARAS

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Maybelline the Colossal Volum’ Express: I did a review on this back in the Spring (read it here) and I don’t really have anything new to report.  I still think this is a really good mascara, the only thing I don’t like about it is that it can flake off a bit and it has a scent (which confuses me).  You don’t get intense volume or length with this but it its a good everyday mascara.

Repurchase: Yes

Maybelline the Mega Plush Volum Express: Another decent mascara that I reviewed back in June (review here); in short I wasn’t too fond of the flexible brush but overall it got the job done.  This didn’t give me mile-long, super thick lashes by any means but I like having mascaras like this on hand when I just want something fool-proof and easy to apply.

Repurchase: Yes

LIP PRODUCTS

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Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (Rose):  I’ve gone through a few of these tinted lip balms over the years and I must say that I do like them.  They are super moisturizing and they add a nice hint of colour to your lips (in this case a light rosy hue).  I think they’re a good thing to have in your purse, in the event that you forgot your lipstick or other lip product.  What deters me from buying these regularly is the price – I just find $26 steep for what this is. Plus it annoys me that the lettering rubs off.  And I didn’t like the rose scent of this.  Still, I’ll probably continue to purchase these once or twice a year – usually as an impulse buy.

Repurchase: Yes

Lancome – Baume In Love: I have no idea why I purchased this or even when.  Am I the only one that does that?  I think this may be the only Lacome product I’ve ever owned, perhaps ever own.  It’s not a brand I tend to gravitate to – but maybe I’m missing out?  Anyway, this was another sheer tinted balm; don’t see myself re-purchasing this one though.  It left my lips a slightly toned down version of a hot pink so I wasn’t fond of the shade.  It provided okay moisture but I feel like I must have had rocks in my head when I decided to pay $32 for this.  I can get similar results with something way cheaper.

Repurchase: No

And that’s all of it!  Phew, that seemed like a lot.  If you tried any of these products let me know how they worked for you!  And if you read right until the bitter end or even if you just skimmed through, as always, thanks for reading!

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Loves and Letdowns – May

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Well I figured it’s about time I jump on this bandwagon, because why not?  I love reading other bloggers monthly favorites posts as it’s such a good way to learn about new products! Basically I’ll be sharing the products I loved throughout the month, as well as those that were letdowns and just didn’t work for me.  Pretty much the same as a favorites and unfavorites post but I thought I’d switch up the words a bit because I’m different, like this goat:

I laughed way too hard at this – hope it made you giggle too! 🙂

Enough about goats, on to the topic at hand:

LOVES:

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NYX Butter Gloss – Tiramisu ($7.99 CAD)

I picked up this gloss a few weeks ago at London Drugs and I’ve been using it every day since.  It’s the perfect pinkish nude for every day use!  I find it works great on it’s own or on top of a brighter lip color to tone it down.  I love the formula – it’s super creamy, not sticky and glides on smoothly.  It smells delicious as well, I’m not sure how describe it (maybe like a vanilla cupcake?) but not overly sweet.  I’ll definitely be picking this one up again and I’d love to try the other shades at some point as well.

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Maybelline Volum’Express The Colossal Mascara ($8.99 CAD)

Its been a long time since I’ve ventured out to try a new mascara; for years I was happy using L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black mascara.  Then something changed and it began to flake and smudge on me and I was crushed.  I’ve been in search of a replacement and so far this one has stood out the most.  It has the natural bristle brush that I like and it lengthen and thickens my lashes really nicely with very little to almost no clumps – which is really rare!  I find it flakes a little sometimes but I’m willing to live with that given it’s other benefits.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the scent – it smells flowery.  Which I find kind of weird – mascara shouldn’t have a scent right?.  Doesn’t bother me though so I will definitely be repurchasing this one!

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Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream ($7.99 CAD)

Lately I’ve found my hair is getting super dry, particularly around the ends.  I attribute that to my use of my curling iron on a daily basis, in addition to my hair being colour-treated.  I also tend to only wash my hair once every three days, using dry shampoo in between.  I find my hair feels and looks pretty dry during those in-between days, particularly on day 3.  I came across this and thought I’d give it a try.

This is meant to boost shine, control frizz and smooth your hair without making it feel greasy.  I take a dime sized amount, and distribute it through my ends right before I use my curling iron.  It definitely makes my curls feel smooth and sleek and I find it does help hold my curls a little longer when the humidity is present outside.  It also smells amazing – a little bit fruity but nothing overpowering.  I’m very careful to not get this anywhere close to my roots as I can see it weighing my hair down and making it super greasy (it also recommends against doing so right on the bottle).  So far I’m loving this and would recommend it!

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L’Oreal 12 Hour Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($11.99 CAD)

THIS.IS.AMAZING!!! Best liquid eyeliner pen I’ve ever used, hands down and I have tried them all from the super cheap drug store versions to the higher end brand-name types.  Nothing beats this.  It is the only liquid liner that I’ve tried that truly stays on all day long and does not budge.  Yet it is simple to remove at the end of the day using my regular eye makeup remover!  I’m just blown away by this! I also love the super slim tip, it makes it very easy to get  precise line!  I have a bad habit of pressing down too hard on the tip when I’m applying liner and damaging it.  The tip on this is sturdy enough that I have yet to damage it (although I am trying to be more gentle!).  It’s also very pigmented and build-able – if you don’t get a thick enough line to begin with you can easily go overtop of it without it dragging and erasing the previous line.  If you wear liquid liner and you haven’t tried this yet – go out now and buy this!  I can’t rave enough about this, I’m in love!

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The Original Beauty Blender ($26.00 CAD)

Okay, I really didn’t want to like this.  Previously I’ve used Beauty Blender knock-offs and convinced myself that there really wasn’t much difference between them and the original.  The thought of paying close to $30 for a makeup sponge seemed ridiculous.  However, I took the plunge over a month ago and ordered one to see what all the hype was about.  And at first, I wasn’t crazy about it. But the more I used it, the more I grew to like it and eventually love it and now I’m not sure I can go back to the knockoffs.  I feel like I’ve used and abused this and it’s practically in the exact same condition it was when I bought it.   No rips and no tears, unlike the cheaper versions where that occurred within a couple of weeks of use.  I can also get every trace of makeup out of it when I wash it which is impressive because I usually go an entire week of use before giving it a good cleanse.  It also applies my foundation beautifully and I’m loving it for applying mineral makeup! So I suppose I’m a convert now.  Which I’m okay with because I see the light now – this thing is really great!

LETDOWNS:

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Essence I Love the Stage Eyeshadow Base – $3.99 CAD

I have super oily eyelids and I usually have trouble trying to find a primer that keeps my eye makeup set all day and doesn’t crease.  Unfortunately this was another one to ad to the fail pile.  It was super cheap so I’m not too crushed but it sure would have been nice if it had worked!  Despite the fact that it did basically nothing to stop my eyelids from creasing, I also hated the formula.  It’s super thick and dry and very difficult to blend!  The color is a little odd too – it has an orange/yellow tint which I’m guessing is meant to hide any discoloration and even out your lids but the problem is if I got this anywhere near my eyebrows it turned them orange!   Won’t be repurchasing this one!

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Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion – $37.00 CAD

In my hunt for the perfect primer I picked this up a few months ago, used it for a week and it was promptly thrown into my black hole of products never to be worn again.  Which is disappointing because I used Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion for years and liked it.  Also it was pretty expensive (I should have taken it back, I forgot and now its too late). I found this did absolutely nothing to minimize the appearance of my pores and my skin was just a complete oil slick halfway through the day.  Consistency-wise it’s pretty thick and it definitely leaves a bit of a white cast on your face so I can’t see this working well for anyone with darker skin. I tried using it with different foundations and setting powders and I had the same result every time. This could possibly work for someone with super dry skin but it definitely wasn’t for me.

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NYX Wonder Pencil (Light) – $5.99

This is supposed to be a 3 in 1 product that you can use as a concealer, eye brightener and lip liner.  I’ve tried it for all 3 purposes and I haven’t been impressed.  When using it to line my waterline, I could barely get any transfer.  I think part of the problem is that it’s just too hard and dry.  Same problem when using it as a concealer, I found it really highlighted any dry spots on my face, barely covered the areas that I applied it to and lasted an hour at most.  As for using it as a lip liner, I found it hard to apply – again given how hard it was, and it didn’t make any difference in the lasting power of my lipstick.  So all in all, a big thumbs down for this one.

That’s about it for May! Until next time!
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