26 Apr 2019

My Spring 2019 VIB Sale Recommendations!

Hey everybody! Earlier I posted my own Sephora VIB Sale wishlist, but I had also polled my instagram followers to see if there would be any potential interest in a post about my personal recommendations for products to buy during the sale. As the poll went on, I started thinking about what my recommendations would be and realized that I actually have a lot of stuff that I think other people should try!

Being a Sephora cast member, I've had the opportunity to try many, many products, so when I recommend something on my blog, I truly stand behind it. Buckle up, this post is gonna be a long one.

Let's kick the post off with some skincare, for a change!

I only have a few skincare recommendations because skincare is something that is very much based on personal need and preference. When recommending skincare, I like to really learn about my client's needs, routine, and lifestyle- but that doesn't mean I don't have a few go-to's that are stellar additions to any routine.

Firstly, everyone needs a good cleanser, but shelling out upwards of 30 bucks for one is not a pleasant experience, no matter how sensorial the product. The Sephora Collection Clean Skin Gel ($14 CAD) is a fucking amazing cleanser for all skin types that doesn't break the bank, and I can't get enough of it. It's 14 dollars Canadian, a decent sized squeezy tube, and it's oil-free (so it's safe for those of you with lash extensions)! The Clean by Sephora Collection line has knocked it out of the park for me recently but this cleanser takes the cake. It tones the skin,  and the sensorial experience of using it is very pleasant- the gel texture is very similar to the Fresh Soy Face cleanser, and after using it, your skin feels clean but not 'squeaky' or parched. Everyone needs to try this!

The second recommendation I have is not necessarily one specific product, but a category. Under-eye masks are ridiculously expensive for what they are, but they've become indispensable in my life. They do wonders to wake me up in the morning and de-puff the eyes. However, they are not all created equal, and cost-per-pair is a big factor to consider. The Sephora Collection eye masks are a good option because they come in four different varieties (Pearl, Pomegranate, Cucumber, Grape) each which target a different skin concern. They are made of a thin biocellulose that is soaked with essence, much like a sheet mask. They retail for $6 CAD and if you buy three pairs, you get one for free.

Wearing the Sephora Collection Eye Masks

The Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Hydro-Gel eye patches are, you guessed it, hydrogel eye patches infused with cucumber. I love these because they aren't in single-use packaging, and actually come out cheaper than drugstore pricing at 30 pairs for $60 CAD, but the initial price can be a bit hard to swallow- that's why I'd recommend picking them up during the sale.

The last skincare product I have to recommend has been an absolute godsend for me. It's the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cannabis and Oat Dry Oil and it retails for $37 CAD. This stuff is like a fire extinguisher for any inflammation on the skin. I mix this in with my moisturizer every day, with some of my masks, and sometimes I even use it as a scalp treatment. It provides instant relief from breakouts, itchiness, and sensitivity. Pure liquid gold in my book.

Now for makeup, which is easily the largest category for recommendations that I have. But for good reason! All of these products are tried-and-true in my book, and I tried to pick things that would be useful for a wide range of people.

The first product I'm going to talk about is probably the most subjective, but the Jouer Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer ($28 CAD) is easily the best concealer I have ever tried, hands down. I am not normally someone who switches up my concealer- I've been using Maybelline Fit Me for about ten years. Nothing seemed to beat it out or be truly worth a higher price tag until I tried this concealer. It melts into the skin but still offers the fullest coverage in a way that doesn't look cakey or pastey- it just makes you look like there was never anything to cover at all. It sits beautifully on texture and you don't need to use a ton of it to get a good effect. I really recommend you try this one out if you haven't yet been totally satisfied with any medium-to-full coverage concealers, 'cause this one knocked my socks off.

Next is a product I've been using for close to five years, I want to say? It's the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer ($26 CAD) and this sucker is worth every penny. It's the best eyeshadow primer I've ever tried and nothing else will ever compare. It's a clear primer that smooths the lid, is not super tacky but not drying at all either, makes shadow blend beautifully overtop and intensifies the pigment in the shadow as well. My shadows never crease or fade when I use this, and I have oooily lids. One tube of this stuff will last me two years of daily use, so I definitely get my money's worth out of it and will continue to repurchase it.

Following that is an small eyeshadow palette that swept me off my feet. The Violet Voss Fun Sized Eyeshadow Palettes ($24 CAD) are such a hidden gem within Sephora's eyeshadow offerings. The formula is impeccable- buildable, blendable, multi-functional, and versatile. The shimmers appear like a foiled oil slick on they eye yet don't fade throughout the day. There's four different mini palettes- my favourite is Fruit Sorbet, the rainbow palette- but they also have a pretty stellar Modern Renaissance dupe, as well as a palette with just muted jewel-toned foils.

Wearing the Violet Voss Fun Sized Palette in Fruit Sorbet over the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eyeshadow Primer

Next is a recent love of mine that has completely obliterated my previously complicated brow routine, and elevated my brow game 100%. It's the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel ($21 CAD), and it's a complete dream to use! I have thick, medium-coloured brows- the hairs themselves are very thick, but can get sparse in some areas because of my psoriasis. I'd never before found a tinted brow gel that did everything I wanted it to do- fill in and groom my brows. I don't need them to be super fluffy or feathery, I just want the hairs coated and in place. This product does all that and more for me. Ever since I got it, I haven't even touched my original Dipbrow Pomade- just this and then a light shaping with a brow pencil is all I need. I've been loving how it makes my brows look.

Wearing Anastasia Dipbrow Gel in Medium Brown with Benefit Precisely, My Brow in 3.5

Two blush palettes that I've been adoring are the Benefit Cheekleaders Mini Cheek Palette in Pink Squad ($40 CAD) and the Jouer Blush Bouquet Dual Blush Palettes ($38 CAD). While the Benefit one will appeal to people with fair-to-medium skintones, the Jouer duos have a menagerie of different shades to choose from. Formula-wise, they're both incredible- Benefit has always been known for having amazing cheek powder products, and these are no exception. I originally thought that the highlighter would be too deep for me, but it has a translucent pinky base with a strong sunshiney shift and it actually looks gorgeous on my skintone. The duo also contains the shades Dandelion- I love me a baby pink blush- and Galifornia, a gorgeous glowy coral. What I love about the Jouer Blush Bouquets most is the satiny, buildable, foolproof formula and how they chose shades for each duo that will complement anything you put on the eyes or lips.

And what's a good sale haul without some trendy lip products? I've picked three different formulas that I stand behind 100%. First are the Sephora Collection Rouge Lacquers ($16 CAD). You know that sheer, juicy, high-shine, comfortable lip that's so hot right now? Yeah, this is it, perfected, under 20 bucks, and available in any shade you could want. These look gorgeous and wear comfortably, feel like a balm, and wear away in a flattering manner (no butthole lip or smeary Joker-mouth here). My favourite shades are Visionary (basically Bite's French Press Gloss in Dirty Chai, but in sheer lipstick form) and Slay (a cute-as-can-be coral). 

Wearing Benefit Cheekleaders palette, Jouer Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer, and Sephora Collection Rouge Lacquer in Rise Up

If you're loving the sheer, juicy lip but want more shine and staying power, look no further than the Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lipstick ($34 CAD). I don't know how, but this is the perfect medium-pigment gloss formula. It has just enough translucency to not sink into lip lines while still being true-to-tube in colour on the lips, has a gorgeous, juicy, lacquer-like finish, and the staying power of a cream lipstick. They are comfortable- not too thick, but with enough tack to feel like they've got that longevity of wear. I've received so many compliments while wearing these that I definitely qualify them as a must-try for gloss lovers.

On the flip side, I have a comfortable matte formula to recommend as well- the Bite Beauty Multisticks ($28 CAD) actually have 75% powder pigment infused into the formula, making them suitable for the eyes, cheeks and lips. I've been loving cream cheek and eye products lately, and a monochromatic cream look is so trendy right now. Not all multi-use products are created equal- some are too creamy and greasy for the eyes, too pigmented for the cheeks, or too dry for the lips. Bite's formula performs amazingly on all three and, in my opinion, they've gone and chosen shades that anyone could rock on all features. The Multisticks are an unsung hero in their lineup!

Lastly for makeup, you're going to need a setting spray to lock all your hard work in and keep it looking great all day. The best natural-finish setting spray I've ever laid my hands on is the Glamglow Glowsetter Setting Spray ($40 CAD). I've gotten multiple coworkers hooked on this stuff- it's perfect for many skin types, doesn't dry out your skin, and keeps everything on your face looking dimensional and fresh all day long.

Lastly, if anyone's still here, I have a few miscellaneous recommendations to round this post off! 

First- I know, I know, the Sephora Collection Skin Perfecting Brush Set ($68 CAD) feels gimmicky. If you ignore the fact that they are supposed to be collagen-infused and just regard it as a really fucking good brush set, you're fine. I've used these brushes multiple times on so many clients and they're always sold. These brushes are damn near perfect, especially for someone who prefers to apply concealer with brushes as I do. There's a small brush perfect for placing concealer and colour corrector, the most GORGEOUS concealer buffing brush of life- seriously, this is the closest a brush has gotten to being akin to an actual finger in terms of application- and three more soft brushes for cheek products that diffuse product effortlessly on the skin. I'm normally pretty cheap with my brushes because I can be pretty rough on them, but this set takes my breath away.

Flawless base applied on Ashley using the Sephora Collection Skin Perfecting Brush Set

If you've got brushes, you're gonna need brush cleaner, it's a fact of life. No, dish soap and olive oil once a month doesn't cut it for me- I wear vibrant colour so often that I need to spot clean my brushes almost every time I use them. For this reason, the Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner (various pricing per fl. oz) is indispensable to me. It's simply the best brush cleaner that exists. It takes all the pigment and bacteria out of my brushes in one spritz, dries in seconds, and doesn't leave the brush with a single stitch of residue. This stuff is flawless and a must-try for those who wear a lot of different colours, or use brushes to apply liquid products.

Lastly, I have two fruity fragrances that I've been loving and want to recommend to you. I know fragrance is a very personal thing- once you find one that's to your taste, there's a good chance that it might not work with your body chemistry, or it might give you a headache, or your boss might hate it and demand that you never wear it again. For that reason, I only implore you to go in-store and smell these, if you can.

Pacific Lime by Atelier Cologne (various pricing per fl. oz) is the perfect summer fragrance in my book. Citrusy-sweet like margaritas with a little subtle hit of creamy coconut at the end. Flawless, and the longest-lasting on the skin of any Atelier fragrance I've tried.

Mystical Misfit from Pinrose (various pricing per fl. oz) is like a peachy berry sangria. Not a lot of higher-end fragrances include notes of peach, which is a shame, because this one smells amazing and just fun. It's an instant pick-me-up.

Well, that's it for me! Do any of these products pique your interest? Let me know which ones in the comments below!

My Spring 2019 VIB Sale Wishlist!

Hey guys! Been a hot minute, but I thought I'd do a quick post about my wishlist for the Spring 2019 Sephora VIB Sale! Because I'm a cast member at Sephora, I don't actually get any extra discount during the sale, so this is more of a list of things I'd like to pick up or try out currently.

I made a graphic with the products and now I'll go through the list and tell you what they are and why I want to try them and/or pick them up!

First off, the Moschino x Sephora Collection Liquid Markers lip set ($43 CAD). I tried the pink one on in store and to my relative surprise, the formula is different than the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains- it reminds me more of the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment formula, but a little thicker. The lipstick lasted me through my lunch of risotto and ice cream, through a six hour shift, and my two-hour trip home through the rain. I'm thoroughly impressed, and since every colour in this set is right up my alley (though I understand that that's probably not the case for everyone), I am going to pick it up!

Next, I have no less than three face powders that I want to try. Listen, okay, I swear I have a very justified reason for this. My favourite powder foundation of life is the old formulation of the Kat Von D Lock-It Powder foundation and I go through it like freaking water. It's been reformulated, and even if it hadn't been, I no longer purchase Kat Von D products. I almost exclusively wear powder foundation in the summer months, for a few reasons- I have rather oily skin, and I find that powder can be more sheer than my liquid foundations, so it's more forgiving and easier to blend if my face tans a bit and I don't have a perfect shade match. And even in the winter months, I set my foundation with pressed powder to give a blurred, flawless finish. I'm hoping that the Marc Jacobs Accomplice Instant Blurring Beauty Powder ($59 CAD), as expensive as it is, will be perfect for setting my liquid foundation, and then either the Jouer Soft Focus Hydrate + Set Powder ($38 CAD) or the Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation ($48 CAD) will be a perfect powder foundation for the warmer, sweatier months.

Next up there's some skincare I want! Bite Beauty very recently reformulated their lip balm to be vegan, christening it under the name Bite Beauty Agave+ Daytime Vegan lip balm ($18 CAD). To make it vegan, they've removed the lanolin and replaced it with hydrating cocoa butter, which pleases me immensely because I'm actually allergic to lanolin. I tried the new formula of the lip balm on in-store and it feels, tastes and smells gorgeous. I'll probably grab it within the next week. 

The Farmacy Honey Grail Ultra-Hydrating Face Oil ($64 CAD) is something I'm really curious to try, because I've had great success with the Farmacy Honey line of products. With more oily skin, you'd think I wouldn't be so hot on a face oil, but honey really calms my skin and I'd actually like to try using this on my cuticles as well.

I love the original First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, so I really want to snag the set they've come out with- the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Minis ($25 CAD). Why, you ask? Because they've come out with two new scents- Rosemary Mint and Cucumber Melon. They're completely delicious and very nostalgic, and I'd love to have some smaller sizes of the URC kicking around my apartment because I use it as a body moisturizer. It sinks into the skin instantly and is so, so moisturizing and soothing, I'd definitely recommend anyone who wants a lightly fragranced, effective body cream to pick this up as well.

Lastly, I have two miscellaneous things I'd like to pick up! The Kopari Coconut Toothpaste ($16 CAD) is something I've wanted to try for a while. I have very sensitive teeth with no enamel so yeah, I'm mostly just curious about this.

And the Beautyblender Pretty In Pink Sponge Set ($60 CAD) is a no-brainer for me- my beautyblenders are getting kinda manky so I'm due for some new ones and I love when they come out with smaller sets.

Let me know what you're wanting to pick up during the VIB sale in the comments, or on my instagram page (@streichedelic)!

17 Feb 2019

Makeup Inventory And Swatches: Blue Lipsticks!

I've been recently trying to keep track of my lipsticks in order to use what I have and avoid buying duplicates. So here's a swatch gallery of my blue lipsticks and glosses, as well as quick breakdowns on the formulas!

I have 11 blue lip products. Most are liquid lipsticks because I find that they stay better without smudging or fading, because nothing looks more horrid on me than faded blue lips. I don't want to look like a fresh corpse (but all the power to you if you do, you sexy zombie!)

We'll start with the glossy/sheer toppers.

From left to right, I have the essence Holo Wow! Dewy Lip Shine in 04 Dragonfly Shimmer, the Sephora x Pantone Universe Modern Watercolours lip gloss in Serenity, and the Wet N Wild Megalast Iridescent Lip Colour in Unicorn Soul.

Here they are swatched. 

The essence lip gloss is actually very sheer on the lips, and the formula reminds me of the old Maybelline Baby Lips Glosses- very juicy and kind of thin, with the teeniest bit of grit.

The Sephora Collection x Pantone Universe gloss is a creamy, milky translucent gloss on the lips.

The Wet N Wild Sheer lipstick adjusts to the pH of your lips, supposedly, and turns into a purple-pink with blue sparkle. It's a good dupe for the Too Faced Unicorn Tears lipstick.

I have four high-end (well, mid-range really) blue lipsticks. Three are liquid lipsticks that dry down and one is a pigmented lip lacquer. From left to right, I have the Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Satellite, The Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal in Iced Out, the Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Reverb, and then along the bottom I have the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 30.

And here are the swatches!

The Kat Von D Glimmer Veils are a thin but pigmented liquid lipstick with tons of glitter.They also stain, which can be a detractor for some, but I like it because it gives me some leeway if it fades in the center of my mouth and I don't have time to reapply right away. They do layer really well on themselves, unlike most liquid lipsticks. I actually love these products to the bottom of my soul, but it is worth noting that I no longer support Kat Von D because of her deplorable stance on vaccination.

The Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal is a product I used to wear all the time, but that I don't pull out often, if ever, nowadays. It's super-pigmented but rather thick, and it's a little too much maintenance for work and commuting; though it's perfect for pictures.

The Sephora Collection Cream lip stain is a product that I use on my brows more often than my lips! There's just something about the texture of these stains that makes them work perfectly as a brow pomade. They are gorgeous on the lips too though, just your standard comfortable, pigmented liquid lipstick.

Finally I have four drugstore liquid lipsticks in blue shades. From left to right, we have the Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink in 105 Explorer, the essence Vibrant Shock lip paint in 05 Nightstalker, the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Little Denim Dress, and the essence Vibrant Shock Lip Paint in 06 Black Widow.

My swatches got a little messy here due to staining, but here they are. 

The Maybelline Matte Ink has impressive staying power but feels a little "rubbery" and uncomfortable on my lips at times, and doesn't have the easiest application. I do adore the colour, though.

The essence lip paints require a few coats and don't have the best staying power, but they stain like a B and the finish when initially applied is gorgeous. 

The NYX Liquid Suede transfers quite a bit but otherwise the staying power is ok. Its pigment is impressive, though.

That's it for my blue lipsticks! Request some other colours in the comments!

My 5 Favourite Shower Products + 1 I'm Pining After!

Time for something a little different! A friend of mine requested that I do a post on some of my favourite products to use in the shower, so that's what you'll be reading about today!

Shower products are honestly my guilty pleasure. I own so many scrubs and soaps that it's probably sinful, so when something is in my top 5, you know I stand by it. 

Let's start with a body wash!

The Body Shop Aromatherapy line has always been a big favourite of mine, and my favourite scent that they make is the Stress Relief Eucalyptus and Spearmint. I snagged this Oil to Cream cleanser in a holiday sale and I've been loving it since. It looks like I've hardly used any, because you need so little product to clean your whole body (though it should be noted that I'm not somebody who runs through shower gel particularly often because I have so many on the go).

What I love about this product specifically is the scent- it is soothing and relaxing, helps relieve tension, and gives me peace, morning or night. It's also spectacular to use when you're feeling a little under the weather because it opens those sinuses right up! The formula of the cleanser itself is great, too- the oil aspect is very conditioning but doesn't feel slippery, and it lathers up just the right amount. This is one of the few body washes that I'll probably repurchase when I run out.

Next up is a body scrub that I tried on my friend Chelle's recommendation! Like I said, I've tried probably upwards of 25 different body scrubs at this point, and this is the best one I've ever tried. The texture of it is incredible- it feels like sugar cookie dough with chunks of sugar, if that makes any sense. It doesn't slip out of your fingers and isn't too rough on the skin but is still scrubby enough to get rid of the calluses on my feet! The honey and almond extracts in the scrub are super soft and conditioning on the skin, and the whole thing smells like sweet fluffy pancakes. What I also love about this scrub is that it doesn't contain microbeads, so it's environmentally friendly! I can't recommend this stuff enough. 

Third is a product that I love using in the summer especially, but it's nice all year round! I love the Coco Shea line from Bath & Body Works in all its iterations (Coconut, Cucumber, Lavender and Honey) but this coconut in-shower body lotion really takes the cake! 

You're probably thinking, what? An in-shower body lotion? Well, this is basically conditioner for your body. You slather on a layer, let it sit (it doesn't dissipate a ton with just running water so you can continue to wash your hair or whatever) and then rinse it off while rubbing it in just before you exit the shower. It leaves the skin SO FREAKING SOFT and the scent is strong enough to last a couple hours after you get out of the shower- which is good, because this one smells like yummy coconut cream. Love this stuff!

And lastly I have two hair products that I can't live without! The Devacurl Melt into Moisture Matcha Butter Mask is super important because I don't use conditioner (I have very short hair and a sensitive-ass scalp). Instead, I use this mask whenever my hair is feeling dry or dull and it brings my hair back to life! It gives shine, moisture, softness, volume, and most importantly, it doesn't irritate my scalp at all. 

The Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is the single most important tool in my arsenal when it comes to fighting my scalp psoriasis. What I love about this scalp scrub that makes it better than others, is that you have to use so little of it to get a satisfactory result, which makes it worth the (frankly exorbitant) price. Seriously, a rice-sized piece is enough for me to shampoo the whole back of my head. This scrub also lathers up in a way that cleans the hair too, and rinses out nicely without chunks getting stuck in your hair or ears. 

Lastly, here's a product that I'm seriously lusting after.

Photo Credit: SpaceNK

Ever since the REN brand representative showed me their Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash, I've been aching (literally) to try it. I suffer from lots of body pain due to my chronic illness so something to use after my long shifts of being on my feet would be nice.

That's if for this post! What are some of your must-haves for the shower?

30 Jan 2019

Shopping My Stash: Living Coral!

The Pantone Institute has revealed their Colour of the Year for 2019 to be Living Coral! I've followed the Colour of The Year for a few years now, since Radiant Orchid, and I'm excited to once again see a colour that will incorporate well into makeup looks!

Pantone Institute

When I was younger, we're talking like age nine to twelve, I remember hating coral with a passion. I thought it contrasted with my colouring in a super unflattering way, making me look even more pasty and straw-like than I already did. I also just hated anything pink, but that's a whole dysphoria thing that we can get into later. 

However, then I got into makeup, and figured out that coral lipstick lit up my whole face. I started seeking it out and was frustrated that I couldn't find a lot of coral shadow, liner, blush or the like, just the occasional muted coral lipstick. So I kind of forgot about the colour until now, and the Pantone Institute has reunited my love for it!

I decided I would shop my stash to see what I already had in the way of Living Coral, and then if I get enough use out of these I can go shopping to fill a 'gap' in my collection if I feel there is one. Rent permitting, of course.

So what did I find?

I totally forgot about my single shadows in this one, but I did grab the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette, which has those two gorgeous peachy-coral shades- Just Peachy (center-left) and Peach Punch (center-right). The two blend together for a pretty effortless on-trend eye look, which looks stunning heaps of mascara and fresh, dewy skin.

I only found one coral blush, interestingly! I definitely thought I had more than that, but nonetheless, the essence mosaic blush in "all you need is pink" is an orangey, pastel coral with a barely-there sheen. It's a little light, very gently pigmented in comparison to essence's other varied blush formulas, and a little chalky at times too, but it wears for hours and hours.

Here's them swatched- the two shadows on the left. Peach Punch is on the top and Just Peachy below it. The blush is swatched and blended out to their right.

The grand majority of what I found in the way of Living Coral products, though, were for lips.

Here's a couple of the brighter corals! I've got NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte lip pencil in Baby K (from their Influencer Box Set), Physician's Formula Butter Lipstick in Flamingo Pink, Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Tryst, and the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Life's a Beach.

Here they are swatched, slightly out of order. From left to right- NUDESTIX Baby K, Urban Decay Tryst, Physician's Formula Flamingo Pink, and NYX Life's a Beach.

I like how I have a range of depths, tones, and finishes here. Baby K is a softer, more tangerine-coral that I also like to wear on the cheeks as a cream blush. Tryst is my go-to coral, fully pigmented in a long-lasting cream finish. Flamingo Pink is the perfect sheer wash of glossy colour, and I love wearing it as a topper for other lipsticks or liners (such as nudes) to give them a kiss of trendy coral colour. Then, if I want to turn up the saturation and go neon, I have Life's A Beach and I know that the liquid lipstick formula won't smear bright colour all over my face.

Last up are some more muted picks- the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Sweet Cream, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills lip gloss in Sunset Strip. Sweet Cream is probably my most worn lipstick of all time, and Sunset Strip is nice, pinky-coral and sheer with glitter shot throughout.

On the far left, I have the two products layered, and then Sunset Strip and Sweet Cream are swatched separately beside it.

I also tried to create a Living Coral makeup look for this post!

It came out a little wonky, but that's okay. I'm wearing Just Peachy and Peach Punch from the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette in my crease and on the lower lashline, and then I tried to do a coral winged liner. I didn't include the liner in my collection because it's actually a mix of three of the SUVA Beauty Hydra Liners- Acid Trip (an orange), Scrunchie (a flaming pink) and Space Panda (a white). It turned out a lot more orange than I meant for it to.

Then I'm wearing Baby K from NUDESTIX on my cheeks with the essence blush in all you need is pink layered on top. On the lips are Urban Decay Tryst mixed with Bite Beauty Sweet Cream, with a bit of Physician's Formula Flamingo Pink layered in the center of the lips for shine.

That's it for my post today! Are you excited about the colour of the year? Tell me in the comments!

19 Dec 2018

Recent Makeup Favourites!

In these past few months I've discovered a ton of new favourite makeup products! Some are old or rediscovered favourites, some are new purchases that fit in with my routine like a dirty shirt. I've got a good variety of base and eye products, so without further ado, let's see them! 

First is the NYX Swear By It palette. This was an impulse buy with my Shoppers Drugmart points, and I kind of had it in the back of my mind that it might just sit and rot in the back of my palette drawer. But I've actually had to force myself to use things other than this palette lately, because it's just that good.

As someone who wears a lot of saturated brights, this palette is failsafe. It's basically just a bunch of muted bright tones that work perfectly as either companion shades to my normal neons, or to create a more toned-down colourful look, perfect for the colder months. The mustard and mauve shades in particular have been favourites of mine.

Wearing the NYX Swear By It palette

The formula on the shades in this palette is stellar. I love how soft yet buildable the mattes are, and they blend like a dream. The mattes far outnumber the shimmers in the palette, and the shimmers themselves aren't as foiled as some other formulas that are popular on the market right now, but that makes them just right for deepening the crease, outer corner, or lower lashline without transferring or making the skin look crepey.

Wearing the NYX Swear By It palette

Here's a matte halo eye I did, using the warm tones in the palette.

Though my love for the NYX Swear By It palette is strong, there has been one other palette as of late that has been rivaling my devotion to it. Interestingly, it's a much smaller one, but I find I can get even more looks out of it. 

It's the Violet Voss Fruit Sorbet palette! In lieu of a dedicated review, I'm just going to wax poetic about this palette here. First, the packaging- cardboard and compact, the colours on the outside of the palette are super fun and whimsical, just like the palette itself. The mirror on the inside is actually of great quality, and I've used it before to do my eyeshadow in a pinch.

None of the shadows in the palettes have names, which would normally sadden me. But since it's Violet Voss I'm not too bummed, the shades would be named something like #TGIF or Wig anyway.

I love the colour story of the palette. It's pretty much a true rainbow palette, with 6 mattes and 4 shimmers. They made sure they could nail the colours they wanted in both matte and shimmer formulas, and there's no true dud in the palette. There are endless creative combinations for such a small palette, and the fact that they made the requisite black and white shades as shimmers instead of mattes is such a cool and useful twist that I truly appreciate.

The mattes all work amazingly together and are a spectacular formula- buildable, blendable, and containing the perfect amount of pigment. You can easily combine the matte colours to make new shades, as well. I've actually, somehow, managed to make a lovely neutral look by mixing the orange, red, pink, and cream shades. The cream-beige shade works well to set eyeshadow primer, but doesn't lend itself to being a transition shade on my skintone as it's a little too sheer. The fact that it's so sheer, though, makes it the perfect shade to use for lightening and softening any other colours, as well as correcting any blending that's gone out further than you'd like.

Wearing the Violet Voss Fruit Sorbet palette

The formula is perfect for me, because even though I've been wearing rainbow shadow for ages, I appreciate the user-friendliness. I can see it not being super popular among the cut-crease insta crowd, because these shades really lend themselves well to being softly blended and built up, rather than packed like fuck onto a wet concealer and then being mashed out with a brush. Different strokes for different folks.

I think that the shimmers they chose to put in this palette are pretty stellar- over a glitter glue. They get a li'l dusty without a sticky primer to adhere to, and I would imagine that they go a little muddy over concealer. But over a glitter glue (I use the NYX glitter primer), they are BREATHTAKING. Multidimensional, foiled, rich as all hell. Onto the shades- there's a rich lime green with a lemony shift, a frosty white with a definite mint shift, a royal ocean blue, and a foiled, wet-looking gunmetal. The black-gunmetal was a surprising hit for me, because it's foiled enough that it doesn't perform like every other glitterbomb black in every other rainbow palette.

Wearing the Violet Voss Fruit Sorbet palette

These only fade on me after 14 hours of wear, using the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish eyeshadow primer and the NYX Glitter primer.

Overall, this palette knocked my socks off. So teeny, but with so many shades that pack a punch, endless colour combos, and a formula that leaves the fuss behind.

Okay, okay, enough about the palette. Let's move on to some more base-type products that I've been adoring. 

We'll leave the Maybelline Dream Cushion for now, because it goes along with some other products I'll be mentioning later. 

The IT Cosmetics Brow Power Pomade has revolutionized my brow routine. I've been using a technique I saw in one of Mariah Leonard's videos where I "back-comb" my brows with gel, wait for it to dry, and then go in with my ABH Dipbrow. It's led to me using less of my brow pomade overall, which is a lot better for my skin, and it's also cut down on the time it takes me to do my brows, being that I shape them out and have that down before the coloured gunk even needs to go in.

Wearing the IT Cosmetics Brow Power Pomade

The Jouer Blush Bouquet duo in Flirt is just lovely, a great blush that has a soft, satiny, blendable formula. I love dusting a little of this across the bridge and tip of my nose as well as my cheeks for a youthful, cutesy flush.

Wearing the Jouer Blush Bouquet in Flirt

Now to the Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation- I've been using this for a new technique that I first saw on Samantha Ravndahl's channel. It's "reverse foundation", where you apply concealer, and then cream bronzer, blush and highlight, and then apply a light-coverage foundation on top. I chose to start doing the technique with my cushion foundation because of how thin the formula is compared to my other light-coverage foundations, which are rather creamy and emollient. It's served me super well and takes, honestly, less than 30 seconds to put on and blend out. I absolutely adore it.

I've equally been loving the cream products I've been using underneath... 

The Maybelline Master Strobing liquid is a liquid highlighter that I've always loved on top of foundation and even on bare skin, but it's even more beautiful underneath a sheer-coverage foundation. The sheen it gives to the skin is absolutely gorgeous and lasts all day. 

The Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Cheek & Lip stick is a gorgeous rosy shade with a sheer, balmy formula that blends out effortlessly with fingers or a sponge.

I've been switching up the liquid and cream bronzers I use in the reverse-foundation technique, but these two products are my failsafe blush and highlight combo.

Here I am wearing the technique- it looks like the blush, highlight and contour are beaming from within, and as it wears throughout the day, the base only looks more natural and beautiful as the products beneath the foundation begin to shine through even more.

That's enough of me! I hope you enjoyed reading about some new products and techniques I've been loving and that you have a great day!
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