3 Sep 2016

July & August Beauty Favourites!

I never ended up posting a July Favourites, even though there were some standout products in that month. I figured I'd just combine the two months of July and August into a Summer Favourites type of post!

We're going to start off with eyeshadow palettes. I've got one for each month!

July's standout palette was the e.l.f. 'mad for matte' palette, and August's was easily the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette.

The Modern Renaissance palette was one I wanted from the moment I saw it. It's got a ton of unique shades that are still very wearable. The pigmentation of these shadows is insane- I actually tend to spend a lot of time building my crease up because I prefer to use a lighter hand with pigmented shadows. They have a lot of kickup, very similar to the LORAC formula, but that's something I don't mind at all. All of the shadows work very well with one another, and I love that the mattes are all pigmented and soft enough to be used as a true lid colour. What really sells me on this palette, though- it matches both of my work uniforms in a way I thought nothing ever would. I have a muted magenta scrub shirt at the moment, and come fall we'll switch to a burgundy and black uniform top. This palette is amazing for being able to wear colour in my workplace without clashing with my uniforms (let's be real, so many colours clash with pink!)

My only gripe with the palette is that I wish it had two more shades- a more midtoned warm brown, because I find the jump from Raw Sienna (bottom left) to Cyprus Umber (top right) to be a little too dramatic. I also wish there were a shimmery copper shade, something like MAC Amber Lights or MUG Untamed.

The e.l.f. 'mad for matte' palette is a standout for anyone who needs a staple neutral matte palette to flesh out their collection but doesn't want to break the bank. I find these shadows to be on par with the quality of my Stila ones. This palette has two browbone higlights, two gorgeous transition shades, a warm brown crease shade, some deepening shades and a matte grey and black. The pan sizes are generous, the palette is slim as can be and only ten dollars. You simply can't go wrong with this one. I picked mine up at the Real Canadian Superstore but I've also seen it in the new e.l.f. display at my local Wal-Mart.

Keeping on the theme of eyes, I've got a single shadow and a liner to talk about.

MAC Saddle eyeshadow- where have you been all my life? I'm laughing because this thing is probably just as old as I am yet it still works great. My mom passed this to me, and I actually find myself lacking a midtone brown in a lot of situations. This shadow is creamy, pigmented, and a gorgeous chocolate colour. I'm relucatant to depot it because it's so convenient to pull out when I just need a midtone brown, but the packaging is actually starting to fall apart.

I picked up an 100 point perk size of the Kat Von D Tattoo liner in Trooper very reluctantly, on the recommendation of pretty much everyone in the CBB. I was completely and utterly devoted to my Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner, but I actually haven't touched it since this came in the mail. It dries. So. Quickly. The only things I ask for in a black liner are that it is easy to apply and dries quickly, because I have hooded eyes and suck royally at eyeliner. This dries on my eye almost instantaneously, doesn't get clogged with shadow, and is practically bulletproof. It's often the last part of my makeup to disintegrate after a sweaty 8-hour shift. I've worn this sucker for 15 hours- walking to work in 30 degree heat, cleaning toilets, changing beds- it didn't even budge in the slightest. Colour me damn impressed.

Two face favourites I had were the MAC blush (?) in... Golden Kitty Primpin'? This had to be part of some limited release eons ago, and my aunt who used to work for MAC generously gifted it to me when we saw each other at a wedding this summer. Though it's a duo product, I've been swirling my brush in both sides to get the most gorgeous, dramatic, fall-appropriate flush of colour and sheen.

The e.l.f. Perfect Finish HD Powder is a really, really good setting powder. I've been trying new ones as I find that I go through my Joe Fresh translucent powder too quickly, and I picked this up when I saw it in the new display at Wal-Mart. It's a translucent powder that mattifies and sets my face without drying out the look of my foundation, especially around my undereyes. I expect to use this up!

Here's a picture of me wearing the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette (with the help of Untamed Foiled Shadow by Makeup Geek on the lid) and Golden Kitty Primpin' by MAC.

I also have a brush favourite- this e.l.f. (I'm sorry, I just really loved e.l.f. this summer) Flawless Face brush (I think that's what it's called) is perfect for really getting my face powder to set my foundation, or to just apply a layer of powder foundation! I haven't yet used it for liquid foundation but I might soon.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream is a product I've had for, well, a while. I always thought it was too thick for me but it turns out I was just using way too much! When I just use a dab of this, it's perfect and leaves my skin feeling supple. I've officially welcomed it back to my skincare routine.

What was a brand that wowed you more than once this summer?

2 Sep 2016

Haul: A Trip to Toronto!

It seems that whenever I go on vacation, it's to spend a couple of days in Toronto. Truth be told, that's all I can afford at the moment- but you can bet that I'm gonna shop while I'm there! Sometime at the end of July, a good friend of mine from uni asked if I wanted to spend two days in The Big Smoke and check out some stuff he had free passes for (museums and the like- he works for Tourism Ontario in the Niagara region). We ended up doing a bunch of things I'd never been to before- mainly the ROM, the Bata Shoe Museum, the St. Lawrence Market, and a couple of bars in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood.

 And of course, I dragged him into every makeup store we passed.

Once my mom, sister and I drove down, we decided to park at Yorkdale and take the subway downtown from there (I was carrying everything for the trip in my backpack and large purse. I did my best not to look suspicious, believe me!) We split up so my mom could go to the archives (she's a genealogist) and my sister and I commenced our shopping. We started at, where else? Sephora.

I went in with the intention of buying a full-size of the Too Faced HangoveRX primer and a couple of Anastasia eyeshadows and walked out with totally different stuff.

They didn't have the shadows I wanted available for swatching (Macaroon, mainly) and I saw that I could get a sample of the primer as an 100 point perk, so that I did. I also knew I wanted a few foundation samples, and the cast member recommended the Josie Maran Argan Vibrancy and Too Faced Born This Way foundations. I got samples of those, as well as the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing face mask.

While I was looking around the checkout line, I noticed they had a mini of the new MUFE Excessive Lash mascara that my favourite youtuber (Kayla Hagey) had been raving about. I needed a new mascara and while I'd been planning on picking up another mini of my favourite MUFE Smokey Extravagant, I went out on a limb and picked this one up (spoiler alert: I love it even more!)

An Anastasia lip gloss also caught my eye- the shade Sunset Strip, which is described as a sparkly coral. It reminded me so much of an Elizabeth Arden lip gloss that was LE for this summer. I wanted it desperately, but the price tag meant it wasn't happening. This gloss was an impulse purchase, but I don't feel as bad as I should for buying it.

We made our way downtown to shop for some clothes for my sister at the Eaton Centre. I picked her up a couple of cute shirts at H&M, but I also knew I wanted to check out the makeup. Sadly, they didn't have my favourite double-ended brushes or makeup sponge (I was heartbroken, tbh).

I ended up picking up three of their High Impact Eye Colour single eyeshadows (my jaw was dropping at the pigmentation of some of them in the store) as well as a Perfectionist Finishing Powder in the shade Alabaster, because I rarely find powders as light in shade as this one.

Going clockwise, I picked up three colours of shadow I'd been lemming for when I do my looks, and that I'd been planning to buy dupes of anyway- a cool-toned medium purple called Violaceous (similar to Morphe Grape Day), a brightened mustard yellow called Turmeric (similar to Luxie Wheatness), and a metallic lavender called Award Season (similar to the aforementioned Macaroon by Anastasia).

Here are some swatches of the three shades- Violaceous is rather weak, but as I'll likely just be building this up in the crease, I don't really mind. Turmeric is gorgeous, and Award Season is gorgeous, with just the right amount of sparkle.

Next, I met up with my friend, and I informed him that I needed to make a pilgrimage to the NYX store, preferably the one on Queen West, as the Eaton Centre one was ridiculously crowded. He agreed, and off we went.

The store was incredible. They didn't have the two items I wanted the most- the glitter primer and the Angel Veil Primer- but I did manage to find a few things to try out that I either couldn't get in Sudbury, or that were far cheaper than at home.

I knew I wanted the Tame & Frame brow pomade, and it's honestly done a world of difference for my brows since I started using it! I also grabbed a Face & Body glitter in the shade Violet to play around with, as I don't own any glitter and I wanted to pick up something cheap to decide if I liked incorporating glitter into my looks. I expect that the Pro Foundation mixer in White will be somewhat of a lifesaver- and yes, a review will be forthcoming. In fact, both of the foundation samples I got from Sephora were too dark so I'll be using this soon! The pro foundation sponge intrigued me as it was cheap and my H&M one is starting to get a little janky. I grabbed it, and the only thing I don't like about it so far is that there is no pointed end, so it's hard to apply powder with it.

Here's a close-up of the glitter.

Now for the colour cosmetics!

I picked up one of the Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks in the shade Exotic, because I thought I needed more neutral liquid lipsticks (the keyword there being "thought"). I grabbed one of the matte lipsticks in the shade Crazed, a beautiful reddy rust colour. And I don't know what possessed me to buy two of the primal colours, other than the fact that they were on sale and *gasp* red eyeshadow!

Here are some clockwise swatches of those products:

The Primal Colours swatch a little poorly but over a white base, shouldn't be too bad.

Lastly, I dragged Joe into another Sephora on the way back from the ROM. This one was much less crowded and I really had time to look around. Despite that, I ended up just purchasing some skincare-esque stuff!

I bought a Makeup Eraser, which for those of you who don't know, is supposed to be a facecloth that removes all of your makeup with just water. I've been running down my stockpile of Target Up&Up makeup remover wipes, and I am not about to spend ten dollars on a pack of Neutrogena wipes, so I grabbed this. I figure it'll be good for when my makeup starts to look gross near the end of my evening shifts.

And this face mask set from Peter Thomas Roth had been in my online cart for a long while- my sister and I love to have weekly mask nights. There are a fair amount of hydrating masks in this set (for me), and a fair amount of purifying masks (for her), so I figured what the heck and threw it into my basket.

Well, that's all I picked up in Toronto! Sorry for the wordy post, but I figure as I've been posting less frequently, I'm really going to try and go into detail when I do manage to put something out. Have you tried anything I picked up?
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