October 2016 Favorites!

october-favorites

Happy Thursday everyone!

October is coming to a rapid end so here’s some products that have gotten me through with stellar results.  Take a look!

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C3 

Words can’t express how much I really love this cushion BB cream.  It provides a natural “my skin but better” look and leaves behind a nice glow that is not overwhelming.  One of my go-to products for practically any given day.

Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake

Included in the Too Faced Naughty Kisses and Sweet Cheeks holiday set, I’m pretty obsessed with these lip glosses.  With just the right amount of shine, I love the plumping effect of this gloss and they last a pretty good while.

It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo plus Keratin

Pretty much my holy grail shampoo at the moment!  Finding a shampoo that does not make my scalp or skin itchy is painstakingly difficult.  This sulfate free, sodium chloride free, paraben free, keratin protein infused shampoo lathers nicely, cleans my hair without feeling harsh, smoothes my curly and often times unruly hair and the best part? No irritation.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask 

Basically the only worthy product included in my Birchbox box this month, I like using this mask in the shower to gently exfoliate my skin.  Although it’s compared to a traditional peel, I disagree.  I can’t see the levels of willow bark and pomegranate enzymes these have but it doesn’t appear to be too concentrated as I felt no activity once I placed it on.  I like this for cooler weather at the moment because it provides hydration without feeling heavy.

Clinique Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush

This blush is one of my favorites for a reason.  It provides both a natural look and finish and is perfect when you want to look put together in a jiffy. It blends seamlessly onto skin.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

Look no further than this product when you need to groom and define your eyebrows stat! Since this has a spoolie like application, a few quick strokes helps fill in sparse gaps and brush them at the same time to save you time.

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

 

 

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Play! By Sephora Unboxing October 2016!

play-by-sephora-october

Hi everyone!

I have a look into the October Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Cool Cut, with products that truly stand out from the crowd and destined to become mainstream with breakthrough formulas.

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How cute is this Lipstix and Chill bag?!

Let’s get into the rest of the contents!

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel 

An advanced, non-abrasive peel that is supposed to gently exfoliate skin to reveal a bright and renewed complexion.  The active ingredient is AC-11, which is derived from cat’s claw and helps gently exfoliate.  As an esthetician, I have a different expectation for a peel.  Personally, I didn’t see a difference with this at all and it actually left behind a sticky feel and residue. Not impressed at all.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil 

A conditioning hair mask that strengthens strands while enhancing color and shine.  The unique ingredient in this is prickly pear oil that comes from the seeds and contains over 80% fatty acids that provides an unparalleled amount of deep nurturing oils to hair.  This mask it quite thick and has an interesting smell.  When I used this mask, I found that it did leave hair shiny but it didn’t have a conditioning effect as I assumed it would.  It does not state that it’s supposed to condition hair so it’s best to mix in your own conditioner with this mask to get knots out.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat 

This matte liquid lipstick claims to last 8 hours and have a water-resistant, non-feathering formula. Jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils are included to provide a non-drying finish.  The shade I received was Driver’s Seat which is described as a warm pink however I kind of find it to be a terracotta-red type shade.  The shade is gorgeous and it is highly pigmented.  This does come off when drinking and eating food and I do find this formula drying to lips.  If you’re looking for a true matte liquid lipstick, then definitely check this one out.

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Blinc Mascara Amplified 

What makes this mascara special is the innovative “tube technology” that coats lashes with easy-to-remove, tiny water-resistant tubes that won’t run, smudge or flake.  Removing this mascara is simple as you only need warm water and a cotton round or ball to remove.  I’ve used this mascara before as part of my simple makeup routine and I love it for a natural look.  I find that it doesn’t provide much volume though.

Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

This South Korean skincare brand is made with Scottish botanicals and based on the research of Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist from Edinburgh.  This lightweight gel-cream is meant to tighten the look of skin and sink in for a smooth, supple feel.  It can also be used as a mask and tissued off after 5 minutes. I love the feel of this cream and it does feel very lightweight and refreshing when applied.  However, I did notice that as I was using this, my face started to breakout.  I’ve discontinued use and will try again to see if this was the source of my breakouts.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris 

Inspired by a love for the sophistication and allure of Paris, this scent layers fruity and floral notes over a musky base.  It contains notes of bergamot, pear, raspberry jasmine, musk and patchouli.  My sense of smell hasn’t been the best so I haven’t tried this one yet but I will update this once I’ve had a chance to give it a fair try.

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Overall, I’m happy with this month’s box and look forward to receiving November’s.

What did you get in your box this month? 

Stephanie 

 

September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

september-birchbox

Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

milk-perk-swatch

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

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Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

July Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

July Birchbox Main

Hi everyone!  Thursday is finally here and I don’t know about you, but this week felt pretty long.

So, Birchbox arrives awhile back so if you’re interested in seeing what I got, keep reading!

MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB Sunscreen 

This sunscreen is safe for acne and rosacea-prone skin and has a silky formula that absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast or greasy sheen.  I’ve tried my fair share of sunscreens and I can confidently say that this formula is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever tried.  It feels almost silicone-like and it blends in very easily in the skin.  No breakouts so far and I’d be inclined to purchase this in the future.

Rene Furterer Karinga Hydrating Styling Cream 

A silicone-free styling cream that is said to utilize 100% natural active ingredients to combat frizz, static and dry hair.  I haven’t got around to tying this one but I’ve tried something similar from this line and it was okay but not my holy grail.

dr. brandt PoreDermabrassion 

An exfoliator that contains, salicylic acid to unclog pores, caviar lime to brighten and lentil seed to strengthen and tighten pore walls.  I’ve been curious to try this product for a good minute and I was excited to see this in my box. It’s a cream-like exfoliator that has tiny abrasive particles to scrub away dead skin cells.  While I didn’t see a a huge difference in my pore size, my face definitely felt and looked smoother.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara 

Describes as. “a hypoallergenic mascara that curls even the tiniest of lashes for a doe-eyed look,” I really ended up liking this mascara.  It didn’t seem to irritate my eyes and I noticed that it fanned out my lashes in a nice and natural way.  I will definitely continue to try this one out.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique 

A best selling fragrance, this combines a tropical blend of Tahitian vanilla, jackfruit, and apricot.  One of the first fragrance samples that I’ve actually liked from Birchbox.  This fragrance is on the sweet side but I feel you can layer it under other fragrances to balance them out. I wouldn’t mind wearing this on its own but I’ll be testing this with my Jo Malone fragrances I have and see how that works.

July Birchbox

Overall, I thought this box was good.  Unfortunately, this may be my last box as I’ve accumulated a lot of samples that I feel like I may need to take a break for a while.

What did you think of this box?  Are you looking give Birchbox a try or are you thinking of cancelling? 

Stephanie 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing May 2016!

Sephora Play May

Hi everyone!

I was recently scratched off the waiting list for the monthly Play! By Sephora subscription box and couldn’t resist giving it a try.  This box is $10 a month where you receive 6 deluxe size samples from prestige brands. This is a curated box so you can’t choose what to receive but with so many amazing brands carried at Sephora, you’re bound to receive something you like.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside!

Sephora 1

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi 

The Amuse Bouche Lipstick is a new formulation for Bite Beauty that, “provides saturated lip color with weightless coverage and a citrus flavor made from fresh pressed fruit.”  I really love the citrus scent to this and the shade Kimchi is described as a shocking pink.  You can tone down the shade by blotting down and applying some lip balm.

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial 

This is an overnight mask that is supposed to moisturize and brighten the skin thanks to the vitamin C found on here.  I had a bad experience with the Korres Greek Yoghurt line so I am a little scared to try this one.  My skin has been a little bit more oily so I may save this for when it’s feeling dry.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine 

Notes of blood orange and geranium are found in this scent that is supposed to bring to mind relaxed mornings, sunrises, and soft sea breezes.  It’s classified as zesty, energizing and playful. I’ve spritzed this a few times but I can’t seem to bring myself to love it.  It’s a bit overpowering and not really my type of scent.

Swatch

Top-Bottom: Bite Beauty Kimchi and Tarte Lip Crayon in Latergram

Here’s a swatch of Kimichi and Latergram. (See below for description of Latergram).

Sephora 2

 

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask 

I was excited to see this mask as it was included in a previous Birchbox and I really loved how soft and manageable this made my hair.  Read my review here.

Tarte Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram 

This is a mauve colored retractable lip pencil that has a matte finish. It’s purpose is to help prime and line lips for a perfectly contoured look.  Personally, I haven’t jumped on the lip contour trend and as of now, I don’t plan to.  However, the staying power on this lip liner is incredible and it’s highly pigmented.

Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up and Clear Improvement Masks 

I haven’t had an opportunity to try these yet but basically it’s a kit that has a charcoal mask for deep cleansing, a hydrating mask for moisturizing and a primer for the face mask that’s supposed to help it work better.  I’m a little bit skeptical of the primer as it’s only ingredient is a marine algae complex and it may work good for hydrating but not necessarily help the mask work better.

So far, I’m happy with this subscription box! 🙂

What are your thoughts on Play! By Sephora? 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

April Favorites 2016!

April Faves 2016

Hello everyone!  We’re a few days shy of the end of April and I’ve got a great collection of items to share so let’s get started!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare

One of the items I picked up at the Sephora sale, I can’t get over this beautiful shade.  If you’re in the market for a great liquid lipstick, pick this one up, if you can find it.

Colour Pop Ultra Satin Lip in Echo Park

If you’re looking for an affordable liquid lipstick, then Colour Pop is your brand.  At $6, this warm peachy nude applies smoothly and surprisingly lasts even though it’s not a matte formula.  It does come off as it never fully dries and I did find this to be on the drying side but lip balm underneath helps.

The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder The Barest Lip Color in So Bare

A collection I initially dismissed, I’m glad I went back to take a closer look.  A lipstick/lip balm hybrid, this feels creamy, hydrating and imparts good pigmentation

Lancome Juicy Shaker in 252 Vanilla Pop

Lancome’s newest take on the original Juicy Tubes, this lip oil is unique.  You shake the bottle to mix the lip oils and pigments to create a nice, albeit sheer, wash of color.  The applicator is a stubby sponge attached to the cap which feels plush and melts the product onto your lips.  This product gets addicting so you have been warned. 😉

Lipstick Swatches

 

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C3 

I was a fan of the Laneige BB Cushion Compact so I wanted to give this one a try.  This does give a nice luminous look to skin that doesn’t feel heavy.  I’m not a big fan of the sponge that’s included so I use my beauty blender to apply the product.  Overall, I’m happy with this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation #3

I requested a sample of this foundation at the Charlotte Tilbury counter and this one is pretty much perfection.  It’s light-weight and provides enough coverage for me where it doesn’t look cakey and covers up my redness.  I was worried that this would be to glowy for my combination skin but so far it gives a nice sheen without looking like an oily mess.

Foundation Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow

Another iconic item from Charotte Tilbury, I had to pick up this Film Star Bronze and Glow palette after one of the makeup artists tried it on me.  I will say that the Sculpt shade is lighter than expected but it sculpts cheek bones in a not-so-obvious way.  It blends in pretty nicely too.  The highlighter is also not that obvious looking but adds a subtle ethereal glow.

Becca Mineral Blush in Wild Honey

I love using this blush as it blends effortlessly and looks great applied over bronzer.  It’s not matte and has small shimmer particles but when it’s on me, it looks a bit matte.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

A perfect shade for sculpting and contouring, I’m only sad I didn’t try this sooner.  Love that the color is dark enough to define cheekbones but not overpowering.  I use this instead of the CT Sculpt shade when I want more definition.

Blush Swatches

Renee Rouleau Soothing Eye Makeup Remover

I received this when Renee was in town and I have to say that this did not irritate my sensitive eyes. Sometimes certain makeup remover wipes or formulas sting my eyes but this one was very gentle with no burning feeling.  It did well in removing minimal eye makeup but I had to use something more oil based if I had heavier eye makeup.

Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser

I ordered a few samples of these and boy these are very active products.  Containing 17% glycolic acid, I use this about twice a week when I’m experiencing some breakouts.  It’s also doubling as my beauty blender cleanser as it effectively removes all the gunk that accumulates on it.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

I’ve been impressed by this hair mask.  As soon as I apply this, it leaves my color treated hair softer and smoother feeling.

 

Skincare Hair

Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set

I know this is missing from the main picture, but I didn’t have it with me at the time.  I received this carafe and water glass set in my March PopSugar Must Have Box and since I’ve kept it with me at work, I’ve been staying way more hydrated than I normally do.  The carafe is 28 oz and I refill it a few times a day.  I also love the fact that it’s easy to store and doesn’t take up too much space as you can place the water glass upside down on top of the carafe.

PSMH 1

 Please let me know your favorites this month and if you’d want a full review of any of these products!

Stephanie

 

March Favorites 2016!

March Favorites

It’s the end of March guys!  Can you believe it?  This means it’s time to see what my favorite products of this month were.  Let’s get started!

Makeup March

Laneige BB Cushion

I received this sample in a Target Beauty Box and I absolutely love the finish it provides.  It’s enough to cover up my redness while still maintaining a natural and satin look.  It’s a bit pricey  so I’d love to try out the L’Oreal one too and see how it compares.

IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer

This product was included in my January Birchbox and while it wasn’t initially my favorite back then, I tried this on when my skin looked a little lackluster and it gave such a pretty glow.  I’m still not a fan of the scent, but this is a nice, subtle product to use when you need a bit of a pick me up.

NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Apple Dumpling 

Another Spring 2016 shade that I picked up at the NYX store, I love how pigmented these glosses are as well as inexpensive.  You literally can just swipe this on and go as you’ll get opaque coverage with a glossy finish.

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm 

There’s always room for a lip balm and I really love this one.  The formula is thick but spreads easily without feeling goopy on the lips.  It nourishes skin and helps keep them feeling soft and hydrated.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette

I’m in love with the creamy pigmentation of this formula as well as the neutral colors.  For a full review, click here.

NYX Apple Dumpling

Above is a swatch for NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Apple Dumpling.

March Faves

beautyblender

I purchased this last year and while I used it here and there, it’s been pretty much on the back burner until now.  I’ve been using the beautyblender regularly and there’s no cakey foundation here.  It really helps to blend everything in.

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

I picked this up when I went to the Dermalogica Headquarters and I’m so happy I did.  Although I don’t experience much hydration from this, it really smooths out my skin’s surface and helps minimize the appearance of my pores. Definitely provides a smooth canvas to work off of.

Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo

A few weeks ago I dyed my hair and got highlights.  I was advised to buy a shampoo that would help prevent a brassy hue and after visiting my local beauty supply store, I found this shampoo.  It’s supposed to neutralize brassy/orange tones to maintain lightened or highlighted brown hair.  It literally lathers up blue and kind of stains your hands with a blue shade. It  reminds me of that scene in Bride Wars where Kate Hudson’s hair turns out blue.  Fortunately, this does rinse off clean and after a minute or two, the color washes off from your hands-no need to wrap your hair with a shirt or book an emergency appointment with your hairstylist. So far, so good.

Hair Color

Here’s a picture of my highlighted hair though it’s a bit lighter now.

What are your March favorites? 

Stephanie