23 Jul 2015

My Top 5 Beauty Wishlist: Benefit Cosmetics

Hey guys! I missed doing my Top 10 Beauty Wishlists, and I decided I was going to do something different. I'm going to be doing brand wishlists in either 5 or 10 slots, depending on how much I want from the brand. Today's is going to be a brand I'm oddly not that interested in, Benefit Cosmetics. Here we go!


1. They're Real! Mascara in Beyond Blue



I love the formulation of They're Real!, I love blue mascara, and this has looked amazing and vibrant in every picture and swatch I've seen. I don't love the price tag- but I have a Shoppers Drugmart gift card so this might just be my next purchase.

2. They're Real! Push-Up Liner



I've wanted this for a while- I really liked the sample size that I got and think the concept is interesting. This is something I can see myself using.

3. Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Medium/Deep



It's Gimme Brow. C'mon, who doesn't want this stuff? It's ridiculously small and expensive, however, so I don't see myself getting it.

4. Roller Lash Mascara



This one just looks interesting. I don't have problems with my lashes being straight, but it looks like a good natural-looking mascara.

5.  Watts Up! Cream to Powder Highlighter



I love cream highlighters and even though this looks similar to several that I own already, I own all of those for a reason. Because I love them. This would be cool to own.

So concludes my short Benefit wishlist!

Which brand would you like to see next?


22 Jul 2015

Review: Little Luxuries Soapworks Whipped Cream Soap in Vanilla

And the scramble to review my indies continues! Today I have my Whipped Cream Soap from Little Luxuries Soapworks. Little Luxuries Soapworks, or Lilux, is an indie bath and body company based out of Nova Scotia, Canada.


I have the 200g jar of their Whipped Cream Soap. I believe I paid around 6 dollars CAD.
 The label is paper, which I think is a little silly considering it's supposed to go into the shower with you. It's wrinkled but legible after a month of shower use, though. I got the scent vanilla. It also comes in an unscented version.


The soap is fluffy, like a meringue. It's not actually supposed to be pink, I bought a batch that was discounted because the colour turned out wrong. I love the pink colour though, and it doesn't stain my skin or tub! I believe the original colour is supposed to be white.

To use the soap, I just unscrew the cap and dab my shower poof into the jar. A little goes a long, long way. It smells like vanilla soft-serve ice cream and the lather is awesome. I just need a dab for my whole body. It leaves my whole body feeling clean.

I love this stuff! I have a lot of shower gel to go through before I can even consider repurchasing, but I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in the concept or supporting Canadian companies!

21 Jul 2015

Review: Little Luxuries Soapworks Sugar Cube Scrub in Apricots and Honey

Can you tell I'm trying to review all of my indies before the month is over?

No but really, today I'm reviewing a product that, spoiler alert, I love. That product is Lilux Soapworks' Sugar Cube Scrub in Apricots and Honey. Little Luxuries Soapworks is an indie bath and body company based out of Nova Scotia, Canada.

First, let me express how impressed I am by this genius and unique concept. I'm used to buying/making sugar scrubs in tubs; and scooping them out a bit at a time to use so the contents of the jar wouldn't get all watery and crusty from being exposed to the shower. I'd keep the hunk of scrub that I'd scooped out on a candle lid on a shelf in my shower.

These cubes are a game changer.


Instructions: "Take a cube or two into the shower, and smoosh them in your palm with a bit of water. Scrub away dry skin and moisturize in one step! *Not for use on face. May make tub slippery. Getting water into bottle will shorten shelf life."

These come in a clear tub with about 20-25 cubes a jar and retail for $7.95 CAD. They come in scents such as this one, Green Apple (which I'll be buying once I run out of these), Blueberry Mint, Mmm... Man, Sex on the Beach, Almond, and many more. 


Seriously, aren't they the cutest? The scent I got, Apricots and Honey, is very sweet and fruity. I don't get 'honey' at all, but a lot of syrupy apricot and a bit of peach. It's very nice. 


I find that one cube is enough for my entire body. In fact, I usually only need to exfoliate my feet and shin area, so I cut the cubes in half and bring one half into the shower. At first I never read the instructions and would just rub the cube on my body to exfoliate, which I find works just as well or even better than smooshing them in your hand. Smooshing is effective but I find that I lose a lot of product as I rub and bits fall out between my hand and fingers.

These are a little rough in grain, so it makes sense that these aren't recommended for facial use. The texture of the cube in general is soft and slippery and these actually get a bit of a lather as you scrub. I find they're very moisturizing and leave my skin soft. They're about as effective in exfoliating as any other sugar scrub, meaning that they don't get all the dead skin off of my feet, but they're good for upkeep if you've got dry skin, especially in the winter months.

I definitely will be repurchasing these in several scents and I think that the convenience of these wins over making my own sugar scrubs! You should absolutely check these out as they're a great concept with even better execution.

20 Jul 2015

Review: Simply Suds Lavender Deodorant

A deodorant review?! Okay, Megan's officially jumped off the cosmetics train. Okay, no she hasn't, she just really loves indie Canadian brands, okay?

Now she's going to stop referring to herself in the third person.


So here's the object of this review, Simply Suds Lavender Deodorant. It's an all-natural stick deodorant from Simply Suds, a skincare and soap brand based out of my city's neighbour- beautiful North Bay, Ontario. I picked this up at a boutique in the North Bay downtown on a gorgeous summer day. It was one of the best days of my life, to be honest. 

Okay, okay, onto the deodorant itself.

I'll be completely transparent here. I didn't buy this because I think normal deodorant is dangerous or anything. I mean, it might be, but I just bought this because it's local. It's good for you, and doesn't contain aluminium, which is good, but it's not garnering any higher of a rating from me for its natural characteristics. I just want deodorant that makes me not smell bad and have wet pits.


A weird thing this thing does, though, is get condensation in the cap, because it's more moist (sorry) than other deodorants, which I find to be powdery. It's not a performance issue, so if you get this and it happens, dun worry. All's good.


The deodorant itself smells like lavender with a faint but distinctive whiff of glue stick. It kind of has the same texture as a glue stick, too. Both the stickiness and the scent disappear after around the two-minute mark, to never return. 

And does it work? Mostly. It definitely keeps me dry! This deodorant provides around 7 hours of scent blockage- and it doesn't make your pits smell like lavender, it makes them scentless, which I like. Around the 7 hour mark I start getting slight B.O. but nothing too offensive.

For an indie deodorant, I'm impressed! I might even repurchase this if I get the chance because I like how the formula is a gel instead of the powdery ones from SpeedStick. I'll definitely use this up, anyway, and I recommend you check out the company if you prefer natural/aluminium-free deodorant!


19 Jul 2015

Lipstick Stash & Swatch: Pinks Part I

Well, I survived the oranges/corals, and I've been plugging on in my lip swatching. Today I have for you the first part of my pinks! This segment is mostly my lighter/brighter pink lipsticks and liners.


L-R: MAC Viva Glam Nicki Minaj, Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Rose-Bud, NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Susie, Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Mauve Outta Here, OCC Lip Tar in Digitalis, elf studio line Moisturizing Lipstick in Flirty & Fabulous, MAC Lip Liner in Cranberry.

Bottom: essence lip liner in Satin Mauve.

Swatches!


And now witness as I slather these on my lips.



Viva Glam Nicki Minaj is like, seriously unflattering on me. I bought it because of my love for mama Nicki. It's a baby-ish pink with an orangey undertone and a very thick consistency.


Rose-Bud, on the other hand, is flattering as hell. It's a warm rosy medium pink!


Little Susie is a buttery candy pink, a couple shades lighter than a hot pink.


Mauve Outta Here should have been on my purples list, but I swear it looked pink in the tube! It's a mauvey lavender pink shade and absuh-freaking-lutely gorgeous.


Digitalis is another really unflattering whitish baby pink.


Flirty & Fabulous is a bubblegum fuschia.


Cranberry is a medium natural pink.


Satin Mauve should have gone with the nudes, I think. It's a dark dusty pink nude with a hint of plum.

Ta-daaa! Pink! More (many, many more) pinks still to come.

18 Jul 2015

Review: Country Cabin Candles & Soaps Moisturizing Lotion

Spoiler alert: this stuff is great. You can see here that I'm reviewing four bottles of Country Cabin's Intense Moisturizing Lotion, but actually I have more. I've probably bought around ten or twelve of these, as they make amazing gifts.

Country Cabin Candles and Soaps is an independent brand based in Val Caron, Ontario, and you can buy their products off their website, or at one of twelve (I think) locations around the Northern Ontario-Sudbury area. I buy mine from the Walden Guardian drugstore by my home. The brand also offers soy candles, body butters, goat's milk soap (they are SO cute) and soy wax melts! I want to get some of the melts for when I go off to university where I can't use candles.


I keep one of these bottles everywhere in the house and these are the scents I could track down for my review:  Lilac, Oatmeal Milk 'n' Honey, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Sweet Orange Chili Pepper.

Lilac doesn't smell exactly like lilacs- it smells like a mix of lilacs, violets and a hint of summer fruits.

Oatmeal, Milk 'n' Honey smells exactly like the one from Basin White, a very expensive brand from the US. It's hard to describe- like sweet almond oatmeal muffins? It's delicious, anyways.

Ruby Red Grapefruit smells exactly like real sugared grapefruit. It's not my favourite, because it's almost... too real for me? I can definitely appreciate it for its authenticity, though.

Sweet Orange Chili Pepper is such a great and original combination of scent. I don't get a lot of the chili though, mostly a sweet, fresh tangerine scent.


The bottles are a great size for a moisturizer and very sturdy, yet still squeezable. The labels are paper stickers with handwritten names. That's dedication!


The lotion itself is creamy and a good consistency- not as thick as a body butter, and not as thin as some moisturizers I've tried. Basically, you squirt some into your palm, and it'll hold its shape. It sinks into the skin after about a half-minute of rubbing, leaving you a bit moist but not sticky. It moisturizes pretty well, I find, but I'm honestly not a very good judge when it comes to moisturizers as I have very hydrated skin and hands and have all my life (my face, however, is a desert.) 

But guys, listen, I wouldn't care if this moisturizer left me dry as straight-up gin in a glass. Because every single one of them smells amazing. Oh my god, the smell. They're delicious, and have absolutely NONE of the artificial, perfumey, plasticky after-tinge I get from big commercial brands of moisturizer like Bath & Body Works and Fruits & Passion. I'm seriously impressed and in love.

Not only do they smell amazing- oh no. The scent on these LASTS. I'll apply a bit of lotion to my forearm, and I smell like fresh grapefruits for five hours after. I once took a shower two hours after applying this lotion and when I got out, I still smelled like Oatmeal Milk 'n' Honey. This stuff is crazy impressive. 

I can't recommend these, and the brand, enough. The products are an amazing value- this bottle of lotion is around $6.50- and they're made close to my home. I really love supporting this brand and hope they come out with some more bath and body products- maybe a sugar scrub or shower gel?- because the ones I've tried are spectacular. 

17 Jul 2015

Exclusively Canadian FOTD!

When it comes to Canadian cosmetics, I can be a bit spoiled for choice.



Compared to my makeup collection at whole, I guess it doesn't look like much, but it's not much to shake a stick at! I wanted to do a makeup look using only Canadian makeup and realized that while I have lots of Canadian lipstick and blush, I lack Canadian incarnations of eyebrow products, concealer, eyeshadow primer, everyday staples like that. I actually had to run out to the store earlier today upon realizing I didn't have any foundation, powder or concealer that was Canadian- I settled on a loose powder by Joe Fresh then ran back home to do this post.

Here's all the stuff I chose to smack on my face!


... Set against the beautiful background of a majorly outdated Toronto skyline.


For my lips, I went with Bite Beauty, eliminating all of my Marcelle products. Sorry, Marcelle. I chose the lip primer, Luminous Creme lipstick in Violet, and lip gloss in Nine from the Watercolour lip gloss Library.


On the face I went with my under-sung favourites, Joe Fresh. I picked their cream-to-powder highlighter in the shade champagne, mousse blush in Melon, and the aforementioned translucent loose powder.


For my eyes, I grabbed my trusty Cargo Northern Lights palette along with Jaunty, a frost shadow single from MAC's Hey Sailor! LE collection. I also picked my Annabelle Stay Sharp liner in Ultraviolet, and the Annabelle Instaglam eyeliner/mascara touch-up duo in Psychedelic. Seriously, the only Canadian mascara I had was purple.


Keeping with the theme, I used only Canadian brushes as well- all Quo, excepting my MAC 224 eye brush.


Here's the final look.


 I applied one coat of the powder first because my face was seriously shiny, and I wanted to see how much coverage it would provide. Then I patted and blended the mousse blush onto my cheeks, and applied another layer of translucent powder. Then I used my fingers to blend the highlighter on top and- WHA-BAM! Check out that shine!


The eyes look a little lackluster, I'll admit, but the look was going to be a lot more vibrant originally, I swear. First I used my Quo fluffy shader brush to apply MAC's Jaunty all over my lid, then went into my Northern Lights palette and brushed Reindeer into my crease. It looked very dark, so I panicked a bit and buffed Polar into the crease to blend it out. I don't know how much I succeeded at doing so. Then I applied a little of Osetra and a lot of Aurora to the lids, and used my MAC 224 to pick up any fallout under my eyes and highlight my browbone with Iceland, trying to blend out the crease a bit more as I did so. Then I used the Annabelle Stay Sharp eyeliner in Ultraviolet to line my top lashline...



... And my bottom one as well. Then I applied the purple mascara touch-up from the Annabelle Instaglam duo to my top and bottom lashes.





I then primed my lips with Bite Beauty's lip primer, and applied their Luminous Creme lipstick in Violet and layered the Nine lip gloss on top of that, keeping with the purple theme from the mascara and liner.


And here's the final product!


I hope you liked this look and maybe gained some inspiration to do a Canadian FOTD of your own!



16 Jul 2015

Stephanie's Canadian Love Affair: Annabelle Cosmetics!


Hi everyone! This is Stephanie of Beauty Infinitum, guest posting for the lovely Megan! This month's Canadian Beauty Bloggers guest post theme is Canadian Love, and I had to feature one of my favourite Canadian brand (and brand in general), Annabelle!

Annabelle is a widely-available brand here in Canada, with very affordable, high-quality products. You might also know their sister brand, Marcelle. I've loved so many of the Annabelle products I've tried, and I've split my favourites into three groups below: Eyes, Face, Lips. Full disclosure: I do have a PR relationship with Annabelle, and some of my picks below were sent free for consideration. Those are marked with an asterisk (*). I really do love each product whether or not I paid for it though, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Eyes

I think Annabelle's eye makeup products were the first I delved into, as I kept hearing great things about their eyeliners. I love their Smoothliner in Metal Daze, which is black with silver sparkles and glides on -- you guessed it -- very smoothly. I'd say it's comparable to Urban Decay's pencil liners, and I'm surprised I don't own more shades. The Kohl Liner in Black is a great staple and so inexpensive at under $5. It's smudgy and not waterproof, but I like it for every day looks and tightlining. Annabelle also has self-sharpening waterproof kohl liners called Stay Sharp, which I'm very interested in trying (Smashbox has a similar version, but Annabelle's are of course cheaper!)

I haven't tried a lot of Annabelle's eyeshadow offerings, but I really love the eyeshadow single in Gleam. It's a great neutral base (or could be used as a highlight, especially on darker skintones) and again, very inexpensive at under $6. The Smoothie Eyeshadow Pencil in Acaidasiac is such an absolutely stunning metallic sky blue shade. I actually just use it as eyeliner and it's so, so pretty. There are neutral shades in the Smoothie line too, as well as a retractable shadow pencil version called Twistup.

One of my favourite mascaras ever is Le Big Show* (also available in a waterproof version). It gives me that wispy eyelash look that I love, and is a great all-in-one that is volumizing, curling, separating,  and lengthening. And $10! Seriously such a great versatile mascara that deserves so much praise.

From left to right: Annabelle Kohl Liner in Black, Smoothliner in Metal Daze, Smoothie Eyeshadow Pencil in Acaidasiac, Eyeshadow Single in Gleam



Face

Annabelle has two lines of bronzers available in a variety of shades: the Biggy Bronzer and Perfect Bronze. I have a Biggy Bronzer in Haute Gold*, which is medium-toned and shimmery. It's a nice versatile bronzer and the pan is large so you can easily swirl around the shades (or big up individual ones). There's also a darker version and a matte (yay!) I own the Perfect Bronze in Sun Breeze, which is lighter-toned than the Biggy and great for my pale skin. I also don't notice any shimmer in the pan or on my face, so it's good for light contouring, too.

The only blush by Annabelle I've tried is the Blushon in Rose Bud*, a really pretty rosy pink that I've been reaching for ever since I received it a few months ago. It's pigmented enough I only need one swipe of the brush for perfectly flushed (but not clownish) cheeks. It's a bit shimmery/sparkly, but it translates on the cheeks as a glow rather than a disco ball. I really need to try more shades!

From left to right: Biggy Bronzer in Haute Gold (blended shades), Perfect Bronze in Sun Breeze, Blushon in Rosebud




Lips

Ooooooh, Annabelle lip products; they are so good. Some of the best drugstore offerings, in my opinion. My favourites are the Twistups (the lipstick version of the eyeshadow ones), Stay Sharp Lipliners (lipliner version of the eyeliners), and Lipsies Lip Balms.

The Twistups are brilliant and available in a variety of shades (conveniently sorted by colour group). I've owned a couple more than shown above, but they are currently lost in my sea of cosmetics. Monroe is a pinkish-red for your Old Hollywood style needs, Vamp* is a red-toned dark purple that I'm actually afraid to wear (but is a great option if you can rock darker shades!), and Bubble is bubbly neon pink that is great when you want something bright but not too bold. I love the formula of these (creamy, pigmented, and long-lasting) and the twist-up mechanism is of course very convenient. My only issue with these is that they don't twist all the way down, so I've nicked them a few times putting their caps back on. :(

I picked up three Stay Sharp Lipliners at Target's closing sale (RIP). There is a sharpener within the cap so that when you twist it open, the liner is freshly-sharpened. I don't have a separate sharpener for lip products so I always worry about cross-contamination with my eyeliners, so these are just so handy and convenient! They are creamy but long-lasting and waterproof, and are pretty enough to wear on their own. I own the shades Vintage (pinkish-nude). Glam Red (a cool-toned red), and Berry (a.. berry) and I definitely need to pick up the shades Nude and Strike a Rose!

The Lipsies Lip Balms are so versatile and have such a great formula and scents. Cupcake* is clear but smells so delicious (very baked goods vanilla-y) and Fruit Punch is a bright, cool-toned pink which is gorgeous on its own or under lip gloss. I've actually worn down Cupcake to a nub (what's visible in the above photo is almost all that is left of it) because it's such a great lip balm. These are similar to Maybelline's Baby Lips, but I find the balm aspect so much more moisturizing than those. The Lipsies are only $4.95 each and you can often find packs of two shades for $7.95! Must buy them all.


Left to right: Annabelle Lipsies in Fruit Punch; Twistups in Bubble, Monroe, and Vamp; Stay Sharp Lipliners in Berry, Vintage, and Glam Red

Thus concludes my love letter to Annabelle. ;) I strongly recommend checking out these products or others if you haven't already! You can find Annabelle at most drugstores and mass market stores (Walmart, Loblaws, etc.) in Canada, as well as online (they ship to the US as well).

Thanks so much, Megan, for letting me invade your blog and I hope I've convinced your readers to check out this amazing Canadian brand!

{Thanks, Stephanie! As it stands I only have three Annabelle products, but your enthusiasm has inspired me and I'll definitely be picking up a few of your recommendations. Check out the other Canadian Love posts the CBB has done this month!}

15 Jul 2015

My Top 5 Summer Nail Polishes Under 5 Dollars

After years of thinking I was an autumn person, or a spring person, I have determined that I am definitely a summer person. Eating whenever I feel like it... forgetting what day of the week it is... and being able to paint my nails and having time for them to dry!

Here's my top five picks for summer nails under five dollars.


For summer, I'm a big fan of solid colours. I find that a solid creme in a bright primary or secondary colour can complement a tank and a pair of jean shorts like no nail art could dream of. 


First up is Joe Fresh Tomato, a bright true balanced red.


Then this one- my personal favourite- Rimmel London 60 Seconds polish in Blue My Mind, a fun light blue creme. It does chip like a bugger though.


Revlon Parfumerie's Sunlit Grass, a bright sunshine yellow creme, is a staple for me in the warmer months.


Sinful Colors' Exotic Green is one I thought I wouldn't like, but I find it really different. You don't often find true green cremes available, and I like this paired with any solid tank top and a stack of silver rings.


Revlon Parfumerie's Wintermint is the standout here- the sole glitter of the bunch. Ideally, I would have chosen Mermaid's Dream by Deborah Lippmann but I don't have that one, and this is a dupe. It's just so mermaid-y and beachy, it's perfect.


Here they are all swatched on  nail wheel! Look at how bright those cremes are. If you're not a fan of the solid look, these are all perfect for layering your glitter of choice over. 

Well, I'm not feeling like myself. Back to makeup posts, haha! No, but seriously, let me know if you like my nail posts and I'll queue up a few more.
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