23 Jun 2018

Spring 2018 Makeup Favourites!

I'm back with a roundup of some products I've been loving this season! Lately my makeup has been one of two things- ethereal, shimmery, and over-the-top, or grungy, boyish, and minimal. Read on for a rundown of what I haven't been able to put down lately, plus a look using all of the products!

Let’s start off with a palette I’ve been loving for a few months! While upon first glance, the Too Faced
Life’s A Festival palette looks like it would appeal to a rather small subset of makeup-wearers, I
would beg to differ. A lot of critics of this palette cite the fact that there are very few matte shades to
“complete” a look with, rendering the palette useless in their eyes. I would think quite the opposite.
The one matte transition shade, Desert Vibes, works beautifully as a transition for any of the
shimmers and duochromes in this palette, thus eliminating the need for multiple matte shades. I
think that Too Faced did something unexpectedly brilliant with this palette- they made just about
nearly every shimmer/duochrome in the palette unique enough to be a standout look on its own. It’s
difficult to describe, but I’m truly blown away by the fact that I can throw Desert Vibes in the crease,
pack literally any other shade from the palette on the lid, and have a striking, gorgeous, unique and
flattering look. It’s rather genius and I’m so freaking glad I picked this palette up. I’d recommend it to
anyone who wants a large range of unique shimmers to play with, without having to hunt down
single shadows from indie brands. I’d also recommend it to my 15-year-old self, which may be part
of why I love this palette so much- it’s foolproof, beginner-friendly yet not boring. A genius and fun

Another colourful palette I’ve been getting tons of use from is this Ocean Jewels Highlighter palette
by BECCA! This is the first palette by BECCA I’d ever been interested in picking up, because their
highlighter formula isn’t usually my favourite. I swatched it in-store and bought it almost immediately-
I love, love, love funky-coloured highlighters, and these are actually stunning. They don’t appear like
much in a swatch- the powders are actually kind of dry and stiff. But this actually works to their
advantage when it comes to application, in such that they don’t appear to be a stripe of eyeshadow
on the skin, like many of their duochrome compatriots from other brands. I would say these aren’t
quite as transparent as the Kat Von D Alchemist palette, but they’re close- these do appear as a
visible highlight on the skin, but the real magic happens when you turn your head to the light.
They’re super flattering, don’t tend to emphasize texture, and being that the formula is sheer and a
lot of the colours are more “wearable”- bronze, yellow, pink, peach, with a baby blue thrown in the
middle- this may be a good pick for someone with more mature skin (or tastes) who wants to dip into
the duochrome highlight trend. I’ve personally been loving the yellow, blue, and pink shades, and
usually I wear more than one at a time!

I have another duochrome highlighter love to talk about as well! Fenty Beauty released these Fenty
Flash Highlighter Duos in their summer collection and so far, Mint’d Mojito is my favourite! I haven’t
tried the other side of my duo yet, but this mint-aqua sheen is to die for. It’s not exactly subtle, but
like the BECCA highlights, it’s not “stripey” either. The name “Fenty Flash” is actually pretty accurate
to the effect this highlighter gives- it’s a pale blue highlight, but when turned to the light, gives off the
most striking aqua shift. It’s magical, and I’ve been loving using this all over my face for an ethereal

The next cheek product I have in this iteration of my favourites is this older-than-old Mineralize Blush
Duo from MAC in Hang Loose. I bought this off a blog sale ages ago and recently pulled it out to use
in a specific look, and haven’t been able to put it down since! It’s so freaking perfect for springtime-
one side is a baby pink satin and the other side is a blue-toned lavender shimmer. It is so shimmery
and sheeny on the cheeks, imparting a very ethereal touch to any look that just gets better and
better as the day goes on. It does emphasize some skin texture, but that is its only downfall in my

Now onto some base products I’ve been getting tons of use out of as the weather warms up!

When I first got the IT Cosmetics CC+ cream in Fair, I wasn’t in love with it. The texture is thicker
than what I was used to, plus in the dead of winter the shade was a little off. However, I discovered
that I love mixing this in with my primer and making it into a more sheer base product. I've been
mixing it in with the next product I'll mention and I love, love, love the results. I do really like that this
has such a high SPF in it. I usually wear an SPF underneath anyway, but when I forget to, it's not the
end of the world. This will (with setting spray) last my commute and 9 hour work day. It can tend to
be a little sticky on its own, but when sheered out with primer/moisturizer it loses that tackiness. It
smells like lemon cake, which I like, but others might not. I will note that this product does not play
nicely with any LOOSE setting powder that I have tried.

The First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer is a favourite that snuck up on me.
I just kept using it and acquiring it in kits, point perks, and gratis until I decided that I wouldn't want to
do my makeup without this. It's just so good! It's the perfect moisturizer/primer to prep the skin or mix
with foundation. It even plays well with my pores (most luminizing/moisturizing primers tend to
emphasize them or pull my foundation into them). It smells vaguely fruity in the way that GlamGlow
moisturizers do, but not to the same intensity. I do find that this makes my makeup last longer
through the day, which is something I can't say of most moisturizing primers. A definite sleeper hit!

As for the Wet N Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder, it took me a long time to totally fall in love with
this one as well! I’m kind of still on the fence about how it performs on its own- I’m convinced it
oxidizes a little- but I do love how this sets my aforementioned IT Cosmetics and First Aid Beauty
base combo. I prefer this powder because it’s a baked powder, so it plays very well with a
moisturizing base. It doesn’t stick down onto the foundation nor darken it, and instead of completely
mattifying it, it makes the skin look healthy and natural while still setting it down and prepping the
base for cheek products. I’m certainly glad I grew to really enjoy using this powder!

Next up are these lip products that I don’t actually tend to wear that often- on my lips. These
NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Pencils have been gracing my eyelids on just about every lazy
makeup day I’ve had in the past few months. I have the boxed set from when they did an influencer
collab a while ago, and while I’ve been using all the shades in that box, my two favourites have been
Sonoran and Freckle. Sonoran is a beautiful yellowy tan shade, and Freckle is a terracotta burnt red.
I usually draw these onto my crease/lid area messily, right from the stick, and then buff them out
quickly using a Real Techniques eyeshadow brush- though anything dense, synthetic, and a little on
the rough/coarse side will do. They blend out so easily and create the nicest grungey brown smokey
eye in seconds! They set down to a lovely, non-powdery matte finish, and I’d say that without primer,
these will usually last about 5-6 hours on my eye before creasing or fading. With primer they’ll last
closer to the 8-9 hour mark.

Now onto a few brow products!

While I still fill in my brows with my ABH Dipbrow, I’ve been loving adding a gel to my brows for
added hold and definition. I have two here that help me achieve two different brow looks!

Gimme Brow by Benefit makes my brows bushier and more natural-looking. I tend to use this
product when I’m presenting fully masculine to bulk up my brows and make them appear a little less
polished, and more bold.

The Maybelline Brow Precise Fibre Volumizer does almost the opposite- the product comes loaded
onto a plastic comb rather than a spoolie, so it brushed all of the brow hairs into place and overall
makes everything look polished and finished and dimensional. It also has amazing hold and staying

The last product I have to talk about is kind of a random one- the MILK Makeup Star Stamp adds fun
to any look, and I freaking love it. It’s a perfect, quirky, unexpected touch that is nothing but cool and
intentional. I think it looks great on everyone. Plus, it is super long-lasting- almost to a fault, to wear it
will stain my skin even when put over foundation. But if you’re looking for something to last through
festivals, dance nights, or parades, look no further! As an added plus, I’ve had this stamp since
Christmastime and used it on many occasions. It’s still good as new and doesn’t seem to get
clogged with powder, eyeshadow, or foundation!

Here are swatches of some shades from the Too Faced Life's A Festival palette on the left, and
three highlighters from the BECCA Ocean Jewels palette on the right!

From left to right: Fireflies, Euphoric and Artist Pass from the Too Faced palette. Pink Pyrite,
Aquamarine, and Citrine from the BECCA palette.

And here are swatches of some of the other products! Sonoran and Freckle from Nudestix, Mint'd
Mojito from Fenty and the MILK Makeup Star Stamp.

I also put a look together wearing most of the products I mentioned today!

Here I'm wearing Nudestix Sonoran buffed into my crease and Freckle put messily on the outer
corner, with Fireflies from the Too Faced Life's a Festival palette on the inner half of the lid and Fun
in the Sun from the same palette on the inner corner. I dotted the MILK Makeup Star Stamp in a few
places, and I'm wearing the base combo of the First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie, the IT
Cosmetics CC+ cream, and the Wet N Wild Photofocus powder.

On the lower lashline I have Euphoric and Desert Vibes from the Too Faced palette. Fenty Mint'd
Mojito is on the nose and forehead, and on my cheeks I have a mix of the BECCA highlights that I
swatched earlier. On the cheeks is MAC Hang Loose. On my lips, though not mentioned in this post
otherwise, is a mix of Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Sweet Cream and Urban Decay Vice
lipstick in PDA.

Thank you so much if you read to the end of this very wordy post! I'll have more content up soon.

1 Apr 2018

My VIB Sale Wishlist!

In light of the recent Sephora VIB Sale, announcement, today I’ll be writing about some products that
are on my wishlist! These will either be products I’ve sampled and loved, but haven’t bitten the bullet
on purchasing yet, or products I’ve just been lemming over or wanting to try for whatever reason! I’ll
split the categories into haircare, skincare/body care, tools, makeup and fragrance- I am a man of
many wants.


IGK Car Service Blowout Balm, $35: I sampled this and I freaking love the body it gives my hair. It
completely transforms my look and I like it more than any other hairstyling product I’ve ever used.
I’m going to sample a few more things just in case I find something I might like better, but if I don’t, I
am definitely going to pick this up during the Spring VIB sale.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner, $47: This is a
product that I haven’t tried but I love when my in-shower haircare helps my scalp, because I have
psoriasis around my hairline. Plus, a cooling scalp product sounds like pure heaven, how could I say
no to this? The price is ungodly, but if I find my psoriasis to be getting unbearable like it usually does
in the summer, I may break down and purchase this.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion, $35: I love this so much more than the Surf Spray for my short
hair. This spray has added oils for hydration while still adding that beachy, windswept je-ne-sais-quoi
to your look. I use it all the time at work and once the weather gets warmer I will probably buy this!

Christophe Robin Instant Volumizing Mist with Rosewater, $49: This is something that I
probably won’t buy ($49 for a styling product is way too much, I don’t care how good it is) but I want
to try it so badly! I love anything with rosewater in it and I am always looking for volumizing products.
While I’ll never shell out the money for the full size product, I might be convinced to buy a travel size
should they come out with one.

Skin/Body Care

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Bouncy Hydrating Gel, $60: This is probably the item on
my wishlist that will get purchased first. I guess sixty dollars for moisturizer is a lot, but I really, really
love this one, I didn’t get tired of the sample I had of it, and it’s from a brand and line that I know
works for my skin. I miss using this product every day and my finances are the only thing stopping
me from running out and buying this right this second.

Origins Ritualitea Feeling Rosy Comforting Powder Face Mask with Rooibos Tea & Rose:
Rooibos and roses are two of my favourite things, and this mask looks so neat! I love the concept of
the calming tea and rose in a mask, and the powder format makes me think that this mask will give
me a bit more bang for my buck than another mask. I’ve had this mask on my mind since around
Christmastime. It’s a little pricey and I’d rather get the chance to sample it than buy it at the moment,
but if I have enough extraneous cash during the VIB sale, I may just be inclined to pick this up and
give it a try.

L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil, $25: I sampled this at work
and it feels so nice. I like the idea of conditioning my body in the shower, and I’m always looking for
ways to make my showers more luxurious and relaxing in the absence of baths. Alas, I have to finish
up my current shower gels before being able to justify this purchase.


Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush, $30: I’ve been intrigued by the shape of this brush
since I first saw it. What’s holding me back? I don’t use concealer brushes! I apply concealer to my
own face with my fingers but I would love, love to use this brush to apply concealer to a client
because it looks so dang useful. However, I’m not about to buy a $30 brush on the off-chance that I
may get to use it on someone else. If one of these were to fall into my lap, though, I wouldn’t be mad
about it.

Sephora PRO Featherweight Powder Brush #91, $50: However, here is a brush I really DO want to buy. Overpriced? Yes. Bulky? You bet. But it’s the softest damn brush I’ve ever felt and it really does blend cheek products quickly and seamlessly. Once again, this is just a splurge that I’ve been wanting and waiting to make for a while.


Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder, $46: The reviews I’ve heard about this product make it
out to be so unreal! I’m itching to try this, it sounds perfect- apparently it sets makeup perfectly
without looking powdery and feels super refreshing at the same time. I can’t wait to try this out and
see if all of the claims are true!

Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Televator, $30: I’ve been wearing this at work since the
store opened and I don’t even know why I haven’t bought it yet, as it’s probably one of my favourite
lipsticks of all time. The formula of the permanent Glimmer Veils is second-to-none- so longwearing
and opaque, and the glittery effect is unparallelled by any other lip product I’ve tried. One day. One
day I’ll buy all of these.

YSL Rouge Volupté Oil-in-Stick Lipstick in 45 Rouge Tuxedo, $42: I freaking love this lipstick.
I’ve worn it a few times and it’s just such a comfortable, delicious, juicy formula in a colour that’s
super flattering and classic. If I were ever going to splurge on luxury makeup this is the first thing on
my list.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water x Nicol Concilio in Serene Greens and So Chill Coconut, $39: I love the Smashbox Primer Water and I love scented makeup sprays, so I really really want these! I keep running out of setting sprays so I might actually buy one of these if they’re still around during the VIB sale, because you get quite a decent amount even though the initial price makes me balk a little.


Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous, $395: My dreams of owning this are just that- dreams. This
ridiculously expensive Tom Ford fragrance is limited edition and an online exclusive, and coughing
up four hundred dollars for something I’ve never smelled is not anywhere in my forseeable future.
The notes on it sound incredibly up my alley- “Fresh lavender, Bitter Almond , Vanilla , Orris Root,
Irris Flower, and Leather”. I’ll admit I partially want it because of the name too. But if I can’t even
cough up eighty bucks for a cologne that I’ve loved for years (looking at you, Terre D’Hermès) then
there is a snowball’s chance in Hell that I will ever own this, let alone smell it. A guy can dream,

Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose: Now, this is a perfume I have worn before, and I love it!
I’ve been looking for the perfect soft rose fragrance for a while, and everything I had tried was too
strong or floral. Ballet Rose smells like some fresh-cut roses in a vase, with a small hint of
sweetness at the end. The best part is that it’s not too pricey! I’m pretty tempted to pick it up as an
everyday scent and then keep my Gold by Commodity travel spray for special occasions.
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