NYX Illuminator - Chaotic

2014-04-28

Hi all, 
Sometime in the past month I was in London Drugs and I wandered over to the NYX area and got sucked in by their display.  I ended up purchasing this illuminator in the colour Chaotic. There were two other illuminators in the line both more of a white/champagne tone and I wanted to get this one because I thought I would be able to use it as both a blush and highlight. 




It is a really beautiful pinky peach tone with golden shimmer throughout it. I would say it has medium pigmentation so you don't have to be super careful when applying it.


The above swatches are in more straight on light (top) where you can see more of the golden shimmer that is throughout the product and the bottom swatch is in less light where the pink tones of the product come through more.

I used this as a blush and it definitely had a lot of shimmer but nothing that was too overwhelming, however if you aren't someone who likes a lot of shimmer in a blush then definitely restrict this to use as a highlighter.

It stayed on throughout my entire day and overall I think its a nice product. It retails for $10.99 CAD which is a good price - right now they are on sale at London Drugs though for $6.99 CAD so if you want to go pick one up now's the time.

-- Miranda 

Essence Maximum Definition Volume Mascara

2014-04-24

Hi all,
Today I'm going to talk mascara. I bought this essence mascara a couple months ago and have been using it a lot this past month, it retails for $4.99 CAD.


What first drew me to the mascara was obviously the price but also the bight orange packaging and because orange is my favourite colour I couldn't really pass it up. You get some bonus dog in the background of this picture because he decided he needed to sit right where I was taking my pictures.


It has a plastic brush with a flexible end that wiggles back and forth a little (not a crazy amount or anything though)  and very short bristles (are they still called that if they're plastic?) which makes it easier to get to the lashes in the inner corner of your eye. 

Initially I hated this mascara. It was way too wet and I prefer dryer mascaras, so if you like a wetter formula you might like this one right off the bat, but I found it difficult to work with and it made my lashes clump together. However, after I let it dry out a bit it found it much easier to work with and it gave my lashes a lot of volume and definition without any clumping. 


By the end of the day it does flake off a little bit (if you look really closely at the ends of my lashes in the above pictures you can sort of see where little flake clumps are hanging on) but it's nothing too bad and nothing that bothered me. 

I also like that this mascara comes off very easily with water. That being said it is probably not a good one to use in very humid climates or for a night out if you're planning on going out to a club and getting all sweaty. But for a day time mascara I think it holds up really well (pictures above are after 7 hour work day) and it's hard to beat that $5 price tag. 

--Miranda

Primula Infuse - Water infuser

2014-04-20

Hi all,
Today I have a more "lifestyle" type of post I suppose. I went into Bed Bath and Beyond the other week and they had a display of these right at the front and my brain immediately went: I must own this.


Doesn't it just draw you in and go "I will make you delicious drinks that are good for you, buy me, look at how amazing I look," because it definitely said that to me.

It was $39.99 CAD but I only buy things from Bed Bath and Beyond when I have one of their 15% off coupons, which you can get usually in their weekly flyer or they send out emails every couple of weeks if you sign up for their mailing list.


I really liked how it came with three different options, you can use the tea infuser (right) to make iced tea, the fruit infuser (left, which is the only one I've tried so far) or the chill core (centre) for if you already have a drink in there and just need to keep it cold (for example sitting outside on the patio having a drink with friends. Doesn't that sound so nice?)


I had a ton a kiwis on hand because I bought a giant tub of them from cost co so I was wondering what in the world am I going to do with all these kiwis because of course they ripened all at the exact same time. I thought it would be fun to try to make some strawberry kiwi water with the fruit infuser as my first flavoured water experiment.


It actually turned out really nicely. At the beginning you could mostly taste the strawberry, but as I let it sit longer it really took on a strawberry kiwi taste. I left the infuser in for a couple of hours and then pulled it out (it has a handy handle on top to easily remove it when you're done infusing) once I thought the water was flavourful enough.

It got unpleasantly cold again last week so I wasn't in the mood for trying out any other flavour combinations or the tea infuser but now that its getting nicer keep a watch for more flavoured water ideas on my blog.

From what I've used so far I definitely recommend this product, and I've saved the best for last in that the jug itself is dishwasher safe. Which is always such a bonus for me. Anything I can throw in the dishwasher instead of cleaning by hand is a winner in my books.

-- Miranda 

OPI - Garganutuan Green Grape + Fun Accent

2014-04-17

Hi all,
I have another nail polish post today because I did this earlier in the week and I just don't want to post about anything else because I enjoy it so.


I painted all my nails with OPI's - Gargantuan Green Grape  and did a small accent tip with China Glaze's - Sun of a Peach which I did a review on here 

I really liked this combo and I like that the accent nail is super bright, but small enough that if you're not looking for it people might not even notice. I painted my nails with this on monday and they're still going strong today. There is some cracking in the polish but nothing has chipped yet so it's lasted 3 full days so far and it could easily go 2 more.

My problem with determining polish longevity is I get bored too easily (even with a look I really like like this one) and take it off and change them up.

That's all I have for today. I've got a blush post and a mascara post coming up so don't worry it won't be all nail polish all the time.

-- Miranda 


Pretty In Pinks

2014-04-15

Hi all, 
Today I have a quick nail polish look for you. Last week the weather was finally getting a bit warmer (it's back to gross again right now) and it made me want to do my nails for spring. I think this look is nice for when you want to do an accent nail, but nothing that's TOO different from the main colour. 


I went with these pink polishes - Enamor (040) from Revlon and Trout Pout from Butter London (which is more of a pinky peach but for the sake of the alliteration in the title it's pink).


I really like the combination of these two polishes on the nails. As for application and staying power, Butter London is generally better across the board and this time definitely was for application. However both colours stayed for a good week on my nails without and noticeable chipping. I enjoy both brands for nail polish and definitely would recommend picking up some of the Revlon Brilliant Strength polishes.


-- Miranda 

Blue Eyeshadow Look

2014-04-12

Hi all,
This is going to be a pretty picture heavy post. I decided earlier this week that I wanted to use my Smashbox Eye Brightening Palette for something... and then ended up going in an entirely different direction and the result was a blue-eyeshadow look using one shade from Smashbox (and their eyeliner), one from MAC and one from Make-Up Forever. Keep reading to see how I got this eyeshadow look (I apologize in advance for the differences in lighting, this is my first eyeshadow "tutorial" even though I would personally call it more of a eyeshadow inspiration post)



From my Smashbox palette I used the Brightening Black - which is essentially black with blue sparkle, even though in pan it looks like it has a lot more blue pigment in it than it really does, and the shimmering navy eyeliner. 


The other two colours I used were Surreal by MAC and Make-Up Forever's No. 167


Above are swatches of the eyeshadows in the sun (top) and the shade (middle) and sun again (but with eyeliner this time - bottom picture)



Hopefully eyeball pictures don't freak you out.  I've already got mascara on because I tried this look out one afternoon randomly after work and I already had mascara on from earlier in the day - but that would normally be the fifth and final step.


Here's a closer up image of the look in the sun (the step by step pictures are from inside). Would I wear this as a day to day look? Probably not. Would I wear it for a night out? Maybe. I think it's a really pretty eye look that could go with a variety of blue dresses (maybe for prom?). Alternately if you just want to add a little colour to a neutral look, you could try popping MAC - Surreal in the inner corner to brighten things up.

-- Miranda 

Mini Skin Care Haul

2014-04-09

Hi all, 
I took a trip to Sephora recently to take advantage of the VIB 15% off (ends April 11 - this Friday day). I went in specifically for the Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Mask. I have very dry skin and I had been wanting to get this mask but it's crazy expensive ($76 CAD) so I had been putting it off and figured what better time than when I can get 15% off. 


Personally I don't understand why it comes in that giant box when the actual jar is much smaller - I don't need that much packaging for 50g of product.



I've only used this mask once so I will likely give it a full review after I've really put it to the test, but so far I  like it. The smell is not my favourite, it's a bit sweet (I am not such fan of sweet smelling products in general). It applies nicely and doesn't make your face look too weird while you're wearing it (which I always get comments about from my parents, you'd think they'd get used to it) 


I also picked up this minis set while waiting in line. I have wanted to try the truth serum for awhile so I thought why not get a baby one first and try out two other products (the set was $28 CAD)


I haven't had a chance to try any of these so they only thing I can comment on right now was that getting them out of the box was a pain in the ass. They each had that sticky gel type stuff to secure them in place... but it was super strength or something and getting them out was very frustrating. I can't remember a time I've had that much difficulty removing something from its packaging.





 If you purchased anything you also got a Sephora make up bag, which is nice but nothing special so far as I can tell.

They also threw in a sample of Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation, which I happen to already own and like. They did manage to give me the right shade which is nice so I'll use it up.

That's all I have to tell you about today. Hopefully I will be able to review my new products in the upcoming month.

--Miranda




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Hard Candy - Crush on Amethyst

2014-04-07

Hi all,

A while ago a binge bought nail polish at Walmart and this was one of the polishes I picked up. I got it for $3.98 CAD which I thought was quite the bargain if it ended up being good - and it is (yay).


I love glittery polish and I definitely enjoyed this one. I also really like the bottle, it's tall and skinny and for some reason I enjoy that immensely - but it can make it harder to store if you've found drawers that just fit your other polishes.



I only needed 1 coat of this polish - and I am all about one coat polishes. It applied nice and evenly and wore for a good 5 days without any noticeable chipping. On my ring finger I decided to put two accent lines in white just to add a little something extra. 

This comes off as mostly purple, but it has silver in there as well and in some lights that silver comes off looking olive toned. 


A couple times when I tried to open the bottle the cap popped off instead of opening properly which happens sometimes with other polishes I have as well. It doesn't bother me much, just push down and turn when trying to open it and you shouldn't have any problems.

I really enjoyed the brush for this polish as well. It's wider than a typical brush but it is slimmer than a Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish brush which are very very wide (which I also enjoy).

Overall I really enjoyed this polish. Cheap, applied nicely in one coat, and no bubbling when it dried even though the coat was a bit thick. If you're looking for some sparkly polishes I would definitely recommend giving the hard candy ones a try. I have 3 others that I bought at the same time as this polish and I am eager to try them all.

-- Miranda 
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Maybelline Color Tattoos - Metallics

2014-04-05

Hi all,
After doing my Bare Study vs. Barely Branded post I decided it would be good to review the rest of the metallic range (at least those that I own) which are Inked in Pink and Gold rush, I also included Barely Branded for comparison. You can get the colour tattoos for $5.00-6.50 CAD in most drug stores.


You can see in the above picture a crack has formed in Gold Rush meaning it's starting to dry out, so if you do buy any of the colour tattoos make sure you close the lids tightly!


Here are the swatches in both shadow and window light. Both Inked in Pink and Gold Rush apply more smoothly than barely branded.


The only thing I don't like about about Gold rush is it can be a bit flaky (not super flakey but more than Inked in Pink) and rather than just being shimmery with a bit of glitter (like Inked in Pink) there are a lot of individual sparkles (if you compare the left ends of the above swatches and you can see a lot more glitter in Gold Rush) that got all over the place when I was applying it even though its a cream shadow and I didn't think that could happen.


As for longevity wear on the eyelid was pretty similar between Inked in Pink and Gold Rush, though ultimately I think Inked in Pink stayed a bit better, however they both stayed far better than Barely Branded.

In the left picture there is Barely Branded on top, followed by Gold Rush, and then Inked in Pink. I wiped across them with a kleenex (from left to right) to try and get them off my arm and what you see here is the result. Barely Branded is almost completely gone, some of Gold Rush remained, and almost all of Inked in Pink is still there.

Overall if you were going to buy one go for Inked in Pink. Its good on its own, has the nicest application and longevity. It also works well as a base for the Naked 3 palette.

-- Miranda 

Mac Bare Study vs. Maybelline Barely Branded

2014-04-01

Hi all,
I purchased the Maybelline colour tattoo in Barely Branded about a month ago. This newer colour tattoo is part of the metal collection. I'm not sure if these a permanent or not, but I've still seen them around in the drug store and online. When I got the eyeshadow home I compared it my MAC paint pot in Bare Study and realized the colours were almost identical. However, that is where the similarities stop, and in my mind there is a clear winner when you compare the two.


Upon initial examination the colours are pretty darn similar, however you can see the differences in the textures of the two. The paint pot is much smoother, and I think easier to apply. You can see in the colour tattoo where my finger went around to get the product and sort of dragged around the product. I will admit I haven't tried to apply the colour tattoo with any sort of brush, but when I'm using these types of products I want something quick and easy, I don't want to have to use a brush.


You can again see the colour comparison between the two. I have swatches here in both shadow, and in full light and in both cases the colours are essentially identical.

I think this picture is where you can see the real difference between the two products. I went to wipe the swatches and grabbed a kleenex and wiped at the products. From the picture you can see barely branded has disappeared whereas bare study is still holding strong, and remains on my arm even as I type this.

For a product that tells me to "dare to shine 24/7" you'd expect it to be long lasting. It isn't. I applied it this morning as a base and put some stilla shadows over the top and by 11:30 almost all the pigment was gone and it left my eyelids looking oily. I don't have oily eyelids or generally oily anything, I have ridiculously dry skin so I don't know how it managed that.

I've used bare study for months and months and its lasting power is significantly better than the colour tattoo. I don't know if it could live up to 24/7 claims either but at least it stays all through my work/school day



With the metal colour tattoos retailing for between $5.00-6.50 CAD and the paint pots for now $20 CAD (I think. When I purchased mine it may have been $17.50) you might think you're getting a great deal for a dupe, but ultimately what's the point of buying something thats difficult to apply and doesn't stay where you put it anyway. I've also had a colour tattoo purchased after my paint pot dry up before my paint pot which is still going strong.

The bottom line - invest in Bare Study. It's easier to apply, lasts all day, and doesn't dry up as quickly.

-- Miranda