14 Mar 2018

Products I've Recently Sampled: Would I Purchase?

I've been sampling a lot of makeup, skincare and haircare this past month, so I figured I would jot
down some of the opinions I've formed on the products that I tried out! Since these are samples from
Sephora in-store, and not foil samples, I don't have any pictures to show you- it'd just be little ziploc
bags and empty clear jars- I'll be showing you just the product stock/promo image.

We'll start with makeup!

Becca First Light Priming Filter: This primer made pretty much no difference on my skin. I tried it
maybe six times and nope, not a single discernible effect on the wear of my foundation or the
brightness/evenness of my skin. Womp womp. Won’t be purchasing.

Bobbi Brown Skin Longwear Weightless SPF 15 Foundation: I love this product! I tried quite a few
samples of this and then I finally broke down and purchased it. It’s my new holy grail foundation. It
truly is weightless, with a natural finish and medium coverage. It blends on so easily, you barely
need to use any product and it stays looking gorgeous for up to 12 hours in my experience. I
freaking love this stuff and would recommend that you take a look at it if you’re in the market for a
new foundation!

Cover FX Glitter Drops in Lunar, Mirage, Aurora: These are all gorgeous upon first swatch, but Lunar
is the only one I’d consider purchasing. I actually sampled these multiple times in different ways,
enough so that I feel I could write a detailed review, but I’ll keep it short here. These are actually
gorgeous as highlights, making the cheeks appear wet. Out of the three shades, Mirage, the gold
shade, worked fine enough but seemed to disperse too much on the skin, creating a lot of sparkle on
the cheek area. Aurora, the pink shade, went on beautifully at first but tended to flake off pretty badly
throughout the day. Lunar, however, was gorgeous, and only over powder did I find it looked a little
chunky. It also had amazing staying power. At 54 dollars a bottle, though, I don’t think I’ll be
purchasing any of these. Lunar would tempt me if it weren’t for the price, if I’m being honest, but for
a trend item, that’s just too much to pay.

Now onto skincare!

Farmacy Honey Saviour: This is a thick, sticky, oily balm meant to help dry, cracked skin. I slathered
it all over my cracked heels and did see an improvement in the texture of the skin! It was slight yet
still noticeable. However, the process of applying it was too messy to warrant me buying this.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Hydrating Gel: This moisturizer is incredible beyond
description. It feels so bouncy and slick and melts right into the skin. It’s super refreshing and
hydrating and feels so luxurious. My skin is healthy-looking and dewy to the touch after using this
moisturizer. Once I run out of sample sized moisturizers, I am running to pick this one up.

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Precious Cream: Honestly, this is a lovely
moisturizer, and I enjoyed using it immensely, but if I had to pick between this one and the
Cucumber Detox I’d go for the latter. Still, the way this one sunk into the skin and left it soft and
plump was so so so nice. It’s super creamy and has a nice slip to it so it’s not too heavy. It smells
pleasant but isn’t too heavily fragranced. I won’t be picking this up for myself, but I would
recommend it to someone in a heartbeat.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Hydra Gel Eye Patches: These are such a guilty pleasure for
me because they are so, so damn expensive. But I love them and sometimes they’re the only reason
I feel refreshed in the morning. If anyone knows of a hydra-gel eye mask comparable to these ones
at a cheaper price, let me know!

Clarins SOS Comfort Nourishing Balm Mask: I would compare this sleeping mask to the Origins
Drink Up Overnight Mask. They’re the same price, but the Clarins one is a little drier, less sticky and
more of a true balm. It’s also not as heavily fragranced. I noticed my skin feeling softer and less
irritated after using it. I have a ton of sleeping masks on the go right now, but this one is nice and I’d
recommend it to someone with dry, sensitive skin as it is a great product.

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask: I can’t really gauge what this mask did for my skin, but it
sure felt neat. It tingled and felt so cooling even after I took it off. I’m interested in buying the travel
size of this because the feeling on my skin was so interesting, and I’d like to test whether the mask
has any discernible long-term effects on the skin.

Now onto the haircare for the last bit!

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask: I don’t usually use conditioner anyway, and
this mask didn’t have any immediate discernible effects on my hair. It’s a big ‘ol shrug from me. I
wouldn’t purchase.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo: I had high hopes for this,
but I just didn’t like it. Maybe if you have finer hair this could work for you, but I wasn’t able to get a
good scrub on my scalp because the super-tiny micrograins just got caught in my hair instead. I also
felt it didn’t clean my hair at all either. This is a total pass.

IGK Low-Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub: This was so much better than the Briogeo scalp scrub!
This scrub from IGK has decent-sized walnut shell grains to really scrub your scalp clean. I get
psoriasis on my hairline and this worked so nicely to alleviate it. It rinsed out fine, didn’t leave any
residue or chunks in my hair, and I didn’t even feel the need to shampoo after. Plus, this smells
delicious, like a peppermint mocha. It’s sooo expensive, but I really want to pick this up!

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair: Gel-to-Oil Overnight Repair Treatment: This didn’t work any miracles
on my hair, but it did feel nice going in. It truly is a gel consistency and only gets oily when it warms
up from the heat of your body. I have short, relatively healthy hair so this was just a fun thing to try. I
did notice that my pillowcase was a little oily the morning after, and I definitely had to shower the
residue out of my hair. My hair doesn’t feel any different, so I wouldn’t purchase this, but if I had
another sample I would use it.

That's it for the mini reviews of the samples I've tried this month!

31 Jan 2018

January 2018 Empties!

I had a lot of empties this month alone, partially aided by a declutter of my collection. However,
the only “decluttered” things that I included in this post are some mascaras, as they had gone
off and that’s when I consider a mascara to be “empty”.

Keep reading to see what I thought of each product, and if I would consider repurchasing or
already have!

Sephora Collection Pomegranate Cleansing Wipes: I also emptied a pack of the Sephora
Collection Rose Cleansing Wipes but I forgot to keep the packaging! I really like these wipes
and have already repurchased them in the Yuzu and Coconut scents. These are good ‘standard’
face wipes with a variety of scents to choose from- my favourite so far have been the Rose.
They take makeup off fairly well, but I do sometimes find myself needing to go in with a single
cotton round and micellar water to get some of the remnants of my brows, mascara, and
liquid lipstick. My favourite way to use these is to work a cleansing balm like Farmacy Green
Clean or the Boscia Charcoal Makeup Melter into my skin with my fingers, and wipe the
messiness of oil and makeup off my face with one of these wipes.

Sephora Collection Sleeping Mask in Avocado: I adore these sleeping masks from Sephora
Collection, and I think I may have found a new favourite in Avocado! It’s less slippery-feeling
than the other sleeping masks that I’ve tried from Sephora Collection- it feels like a creamy gel,
if that makes any sense at all. I got about five uses out of this pod and I feel that it really did
make a difference in my skin! It was very hydrating, smoothing and nourishing. I will definitely
pick another one of these up once I get through a bit of my current mask backlog.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream: This was a mini size but it still did take me a long time
to get through. This is the third repurchase of this product that I’ve made, and I probably will go
back to it once I’m finished with other moisturizers because my skin looks great when I use this
consistently. It has a light baby powder scent, and while it can feel a bit heavy in the summer, it’s
a perfect night moisturizer in the wintertime. I’m really feeling the pull to go back to my Body
Shop skincare routine, because my skin just hasn’t been the same since I started introducing
products from other brands.

Boscia Sake Treatment Water: This was just okay, it worked like any other toner and I really didn’t
see any effect on my skin. I wouldn’t purchase it again. This was one of my project pan items
though, so I’m glad I used the last dregs of it all up!

Now for the makeup!

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in Med/Dark Brown: This product served me well over the time
I used it- the writing is all rubbed off the tube! There’s still some product in there, but I can’t
remember when I bought this and it started smelling a little off last time I opened it so it’s time for
it to go. It’s a tinted brow gel with some fibers in it and a tiny spoolie, but for me, I found it wasn’t
enough to create a put-together brow on its own. It was, however, very effective when used to
set my brow pencil or pomade. Alas, I won’t be repurchasing, but only because I’ve
found something that I enjoy more for a cheaper price!

NARS Audacious Mascara in Black Moon: No. Just no. I kept this in my work locker at the
retirement home for when I didn’t have time to put on makeup at 6 in the morning before my
shift, and that was the only reason I used it. The wand on this mascara is so insanely spikey and
the bristles are so far apart that it actually makes this mascara painful to use. On top of that, it
basically does nothing for your lashes except for group them into weird, distinct groups. Like
it separates them halfway and coats them with a half-hearted black liquid. No.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Excessive Lash Mascara: Is this a joke? I got a MUFE 500 pt perk mainly
because this mascara was in it- it’s one of my favourite mascaras ever. But this tube was the size
of my pinky finger, there was maybe 2 uses’ worth of product in that tube, and instead of the
normal wand that the Excessive Lash mascara has, there was a weird, round, eyebrow-spoolie-ish
thing in its place. Disappointment.

Essence THE FALSE LASHES Dramatic Volume Unlimited Mascara: I can’t remember how I felt
about this mascara other than that it definitely didn’t wow me. I don’t think I necessarily gave it a fair
shot, but I lost my tube of my favourite essence mascara and grabbed this one because my fave
was out of stock. I think I used it a few times and it either smudged or flaked on me, I can’t
remember which.

Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Mascara: This was an old favourite of mine, so I jumped at the chance
to pick up a deluxe sized sample. Unfortunately, whenever I used this tube, it made me look like I
had three jacked eyelashes. Not cute, wouldn’t repurchase or seek out another sample of this.

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer: I picked this up as
an 100 point perk and I really loved it! I grabbed another perk of it before it went out of stock and
I’m currently working through that tube. Out of the hydrating primers I have, this is one of my
favourites because of the way it sinks into the skin instead of just drying down on top of it. I
don’t find it makes my makeup last longer but it definitely makes fuller-coverage foundations go
on smoother. It also looks great with no foundation at all, or under powder, to add a subtle glow
and healthy look to the skin.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Medium Brown: I loved the crap out of this, so much that
I revived it several times with maracuja oil until it finally bit the dust after two years of
near-everyday use. It was getting so clumpy and smelled like play-doh, so I knew I had to chuck it.
I’ve already bought a new one. Seriously, if you’re willing to tackle the learning curve that comes
with a very pigmented brow pomade, I cannot recommend this enough. It’s the most cost-effective
brow product on the market. I got two years of solid use out of this, so think 12 dollars a year as
opposed to replacing a brow pencil every 3-4 months. You can’t beat it!

Wet N Wild Coverall Cream Foundation in 815 Fair: I think this is the fourth tube I’ve gone
through. This used to be my HG foundation, and while I still love it, I’ve moved to other foundations
lately. Still, this is my go-to for mixing with other products, such as luminous primers or sunscreen or
moisturizer. Nothing will ever beat it for that. I guess it still remains my failsafe foundation in that I
know all its tips and tricks, and it’ll never take me by surprise in anything it does. Plus the squeezy
tube packaging is unbeatable for travel. I currently have another tube open of this foundation, plus
one last backup in my drawer.

Sorry for the word-heavy post, but thank you for reading! Have you tried any of these products,
or been through any tough-to-pan products lately? Let me know in the comments below!

24 Jan 2018

December '17- January '18 Favourites!

I think out of all the things I had missed blogging about, I missed doing my monthly favourites
posts the most. I love looking back and reflecting on what products I was impressed by,
loved using, and kept reaching for again and again. So today’s post is going to be about
my favourite products from the last two months! December sort of bleeds into January in
my memory, so I’ll be talking about my favourites from “the past little while”, not strictly a
month back.

Hold tight, this is gonna be a long one, folks.

The first products I just have to mention are a recent launch by Sephora Collection! I’m talking
about their Lipstories lipsticks!

I have the shades (L-R) Desert Trip, Twolips, Ice Breaker, Labyrinth City, and Trippin.

From the second I saw the teaser pics for this launch, I knew I needed to own at least one of
these lipsticks, if only for the packaging. I picked up the shade Twolips and ended up falling
head over heels for the formula. The #matte finish glides across the lips with full pigmentation,
isn’t drying but isn’t extremely creamy either- it doesn’t even need a lip liner, in my opinion!
The staying power is commendable, too- the #matte shades leave more of a stain, while the
#cream shades just stay on the lips for a remarkably long time. I haven’t yet worn the #metal
shade I picked up, but it impresses me that Sephora put out some interesting shades at a non-
intimidating price! They even have a white, which would be great for mixing.

My most-worn shade out of the ones I have is definitely Labyrinth City, a gorgeous browny
rosewood shade in the #matte finish.

Wearing Labyrinth City

I definitely recommend that everybody try at least one of these!

Next I want to talk about the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. I got this mini as a
100-pt perk at Sephora, thinking it was the original Chocolate Soleil. I had always avoided the
Milk Chocolate shade because it looks so orange in swatches and product pictures online. I
decided a while back that I didn’t want it and never even gave it a second glance. When I got
this perk, however…

It’s amazing. On my skin, it leans ever-so-slightly yellow-based, but in a way that is
actually flattering. It adds such a subtle warmth and definition to my face without screaming
“hey, I put on bronzer today”. It looks especially nice when used with a fuller-coverage
foundation- just gorgeous. And the blendability of this product is second-to-none, it always
looks natural and never patches up on top of my foundation. It also works great as a
transition shade in the crease in a pinch!

What can I say about the Urban Decay Heavy Metals Glitter Liners that hasn’t already been said?
I know I haven’t spoken about them on this blog before, but at this point, they’re indispensable in
my collection. I freaking love glitter, and these are awesome. They’re stupidly easy to use, can
be used in a plethora of different ways, and stay locked and loaded once applied- no fallout in

Lately I’ve been digging putting glitter in my eyebrows.

The beautyblender Solid Cleanser is another unexpected favourite. I picked up two as 100-pt
perks and have been using the black pro puck recently. Pictured is the “swirl chill” limited
edition version. I’d never used this before picking up the perks, but I figured it had been too
long since I’d given my brushes an actual soap-and-water wash. This soap is really effective!
I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s soap for my brushes before, as well as the dish-soap-and-olive-oil
method, but neither of those hold a candle to this soap! It was particularly effective for my
face brushes. While I don’t think I’d spend the money on a full size, I’ll gladly use these pucks

I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I tried the Maybelline Superstay Foundation. Ever since
the spring, I had been moving away from fuller-coverage foundations because I find them more
finicky to work with. I’m not bothered by leaving the house with no makeup at all, so I don’t mind
when my skin’s redness or a blemish peeks through while I’m wearing makeup (as long as my
eyes look bomb). However, an acquaintance of mine raved about this foundation to me, so I
decided to pick it up.

It’s not perfect by any means, but it still is pretty damn impressive. For one, the bottle has a pump,
which is a step in the right direction for Maybelline!

The foundation spreads very nicely and blends in well with a sponge. The result is a beautiful
blank canvas to apply your makeup on. The foundation is indeed full-coverage, and the finish is
somewhere around the satin end of matte. I would say that the one downside to it is that it tends
to look cakey around my nose and in between my eyebrows.

My favourite thing about this foundation, though, is the wear time. I can apply this before school
at 7am and go directly to work an 8 hour shift after class, and this foundation stays looking great
the whole time. I would even venture to say that as you wear it, it starts to look better than it did
when first applied. Around the 3-hour mark is when the foundation is at its peak. I find that after
about 7 hours I have to powder, and only at the 12-hour mark am I like “Oh, I should take
this off”.

The thing that by far impressed me the most about this foundation is that it stays on my chin. NO
foundation ever stayed put on my chin until this one. Especially given that it’s winter, I bus to work
and school, and I smush my face into a huge woolen scarf- let’s just say I was damn surprised when
I got to work my first day testing this foundation, and it had stayed intact on all parts of my face
throughout my commute.

Lastly, a skincare product- the Origins Original Skin Cleansing Makeup Removing Jelly is such a
good product.It really does feel like a smooth gel. You rub it onto your face dry to dissolve your
makeup, and as you rinse it off with water, it turns into a cleanser. I hate washing my face unless
I’m in the shower but this makes the process enjoyable! I really want to get the full size of this.

Here are some swatches of the Sephora Collection #Lipstories and Urban Decay Heavy Metals
Glitter Liners!

L-R: Desert Trip, Grind, Trippin, Labyrinth City, Distortion, Midnight Cowboy

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts
on them?
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