Category: Makeup Reviews

Tarte Highlighters Head To Head

Tarte is lighting up the season and adding a little sparkle and shine with a few new highlighters. There are two types of Tarte Highlighters for all of your needs:  Tarteist Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter and Tarte Twinkle Stick. These highlighters are very different, and I feel like people will prefer one or the other, but not both.

I prefer the Tarteist Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter. These little tubes have beautiful colours that perfectly complimented my skin. The two shades (Exposed and Sparkler) have a slight bronze metallic hue. This is perfect for giving me a highlighting glow to my cheeks that almost looks sunkissed. As you might expect when you see the petite size of these highlighters, a little goes a long way. Start with just a drop on your cheeks and add on. This Tarte Highlighter blends well, but makes a big impact.

The Tarte Twinkle Stick isn’t my fave, but it’s going to be popular with a lot of people. I actually expected to like it more. This stick style makeup looks adorable in the packaging and the silver shimmer stick just makes you want to apply. Obviously with the stick format, it’s simple to use. Just swipe, blend and go. You can literally add highlighter to your cheeks, or anywhere else you want, in about two seconds. The reason I don’t like it as much is that I don’t find the highlighting shimmer as prominent in this stick makeup. The Tarte Twinkle Stick is much more subtle. On my skin tone, it doesn’t make as much impact. I think if you had darker skin than me, it would create a beautiful shimmer.

Get The Perfect Organic Smokey Eye With Antonym Cosmetics

So many of us are trying to be more conscious about what kind of makeup we’re buying. Cruelty free, organic, vegan are all words that a lot of us are looking for but sometimes the quality just isn’t up to the standards that we expect. In 2010 makeup artist Valerie Giraud launched certified organic and cruelty free Antonym Cosmetics. With the recent launch of some of their products at Sephora, we were sent some press samples to try and found the perfect, organic smokey eye! Here’s how we did it.

Certified Organic Quattro Eyeshadow in To The Moon & Black 

Obviously eyeshadow is an important part of a smokey eye and this palette is really all you’ll need. With an off-white, black and two grey shades, you can mix and match to get the look you want. The shadows are pretty well pigmented and creamy enough that I didn’t see a lot of fallout. The sustainable bamboo packaging and cruelty free double ended brush are an added bonus.

Natural Eye Pencil in Noir

I never expect much from an organic eyeliner. Actually, I do, I expect them to be a pain to work with. These eyeliners are a dream to work with though. With jojoba oil and shea butter as just two of the ingredients, you can just imagine how easily these glide on. It comes with a removable sharpener that sits on the end of the pencil when you’re not using it. They’re waterproof but they do move around a bit (which helps with getting that smudged, smokey look), so a setting spray is probably a good idea anyways. I’m completely in love with the brown shade and I’ll definitely be buying more when I run out.

Certified Organic Mascara Lola Lash TOO

I usually have issues with plastic mascara wands hurting my eyes but Antonym’s wand is so flexible and soft that I can use it with no problems at all. The formula is a little too wet for my personal taste but if you let it dry in between coats, you’ll end up with both volume and lengthened lashes without that stiffness that most of us hate. It doesn’t smear or get clumpy but I did have to be careful while applying to not get it on my upper eyelid.

All of these lasted hours in summer heat fairly well and came off easily with a makeup wipe, which is something I want in a smokey eye. So if you’re looking for a smokey eye that’s also good for the environment, you might want to try these.

Benefit The Pore-fessional Pore Minimizing Makeup

Benefit Cosmetics is taking away pores forever with their new face makeup. Instead of having to buy a makeup, pore concealer and beauty blender all in one.

Follow the instructions carefully though because there are a few steps that take this makeup from lame to amazing. First of all, shake this makeup up good. It’s really thin and watery, so you will want to make sure that it’s shaken up. If you don’t shake it, you could end up with just a weird clear liquid.

Next remove the sponge from the bottom and apply a few drops of makeup to the sponge. Don’t be tempted to apply it right to your face. I tried it, it doesn’t work as well. I don’t know why it works that way, but it does.

Finally just blot away! Blot this face makeup all over your face the same way that you would your normal makeup. Benefit’s Pore-fessional gives you that beautifully airbrushed look without having to spend a lot on different tools and layers of makeup. This makeup is really simple to use. Anyone can get a flawless look. This is coming from someone who loves makeup, but has minimal skill in actually applying it. It you can dab your face, you can get a great look. I love that it has a really matte finish without “shine” or “glow.” It really does help to eliminate some of those pores. It even dries into a nice smooth feel on your face so your skin looks and feels great!

Most Wanted Summer Mascara

If I could wear one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. A bunch of new ones for summer? Yes please! I constantly change my mascara based on my mood or look I want to go for. These four have been in a pretty heavy rotation lately.

Cover Girl Total Tease Mascara

I’m personally not a fan of Cover Girl mascara in general. I like a big fibre brush and theirs are usually hard plastic which hurts my eyes. Total Tease does have a hard, plastic brush but it doesn’t bother me as much. That said, there’s a serious learning curve to using this interesting wand. Once I got the hang of it, I was rewarded with a ton of length and nicely separated lashes. The little comb helped me get every tiny lash. I found Total Tease way a lot easier to remove than other Cover Girl mascaras.

Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara

Again, my issue with Revlon mascaras was similar to my Cover Girl problem. But Mega Multiplier completely blew me away. Mega is actually a good word for the results I got. The brush gave me massive volume and length and the formula forms little tubes around each lash so there’s no flaking to worry about. Seriously, I feel asleep with this one and woke up to perfect mascara. I have a feeling I’ll be replacing this one when I run out.

MAC Bold & Bad Lash Mascara

If you’ve used MAC’s Haute & Naughty mascara in the past, you know they love to shove brushes in other brushes and give you a ton of lash options. Bad & Bold is a little different in that there’s not only two brushes but also two formulas. The big brush gives you major volume (no clumps!) and the smaller brush is supposed to give you smudge-proof definition to your bottom lashes. I don’t put mascara on my bottom lashes so I use the smaller brush to get all the little lashes on top and to comb through. The results I get are pretty close to fake lashes.

L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara

Of all the mascaras I’ve tried recently, Lash Paradise is hands down my ideal brush. It’s big, it’s fluffy and it gets my lashes huge. It also fills in the little eyelash gaps on my left eye without looking like I have an eyeliner smudge. I don’t have a ton of experience with L’Oreal mascaras but if Lash Paradise is any indication, I can see why they’re so popular.

Spring Face Makeup

Spring is coming to an end, and it’s time to get a few last makeup products before you are in full summer mode. Try one of these new products before the heat gets turned up!

Gosh Brow Sculpting Fibre Gel

Unlike a lot of girls I know, I just can’t get excited about my brows. I’ve tried. I was blessed with brows that don’t need to be filled in and also don’t need to be trimmed, other than the occasional stray. The Gosh Brow Sculpting Gel helped me turn my lucky natural brows into a face defining feature. It held those strays in place while making my brows look more defined and put the focus there. It does it’s just well, I’m just not sure this is the look that I personally want. We will put this in the maybe pile.

Quo Cushion Concealer

What more can be said about the Quo Cushion Concealer that hasn’t been said about any other concealer.  This isn’t a bad product, but it does it’s job without making much of a scene or really being exceptional. I like the twist up cushion applicator, even though sometimes I find these types of applicators a bit gross. They tend to get dirty fast from touching your face every day. The makeup is tricky. It has a bit of a light reflecting shine, so I found it was most effective under the eyes. When I applied it on other blemishes, it covered up the colour, but made the spot more noticeable. It was obvious that I was trying to conceal something. It I applied it under foundation it was great, but then I didn’t really need it, did I?

Lise Watier CC Crème

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new CC crème to the market. Lise Watier released this one to the market recently to do double duty as a colour correcting cream and moisturizer. It definitely does both. It’s like your most trusted moisturizer turned into a foundation. It has some of the best properties of both. People who are loyal to heavy coloured foundations won’t be able to stick with just this, but I like it as a happy medium that allows me to apply just one layer or product to my face. Otherwise it’s pretty no fuss.

Wander Beauty Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel

If you haven’t discovered Wander Beauty yet, it’s a really interested brand that makes travel makeup. The lip and cheek gel is the perfect refresher to give you colour without taking up any space in your bag. The crayon is a shimmery pink that is perfect to highlight your lips and cheeks after a day in the sun. It gave me just the right hue that matched bronzed colour.

Rimmel BB Cream Quick Review

Rimmel is one of my favourite drug store brands, but this BB Cream is a miss for them. I’m surprised because they have made some great foundations lately. The biggest issue with this makeup is that it’s too watery. I don’t mind light products necessarily, but this one feels thin. It applies to my face really thin, not giving any proper coverage. I suppose it might last a long time, but I end up applying layers of concealer and powder over it to get the look I want, so I don’t know.

May 2017 Most Wanted – Steph’s Picks

This month has been one to remember thanks to amazing makeup from these four brands!

Strivectin Hair All Smooth Collection

This might be the best smoothing and frizz controlling hair care line I’ve ever tried. I’m not joking at all people! The shampoo and conditioner don’t foam up in the shower the same way your other favourite products do, but just believe. I think I ended up using a bit too much on my hair in every shower, but it still worked. Post-shower I have been getting even more protection power with the Strivectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. It doesn’t matter whether I air dry or blow dry, my hair has been looking amazing afterwards no matter what. The mist does make my hair a bit stiffer than I would like, but it is worth it. It’s not just one day of frizz protection, but multiple days of amazing looking hair. I’m not done yet folks, because there is also the Overnight Frizz Serum. This is the best to apply a few days after your wash when frizz is threatening to return. You just apply it all over your hair before bed. When you wake up, you have nice smooth bed head without the morning frizz fight.  It’s hard to describe when something just works exactly like it promises and fulfills all of your dreams. Strivectin has done that.

NYX Ombre Blush

I love ombré blush. I wish all blushes were ombré. I love ombré blush because my face isn’t one colour. It has different tones and levels. It needs products with that same feel. Regular blush is good, but sometimes you have to apply it specially to get it to be different tones on the different areas of your cheek bones. Ombre blush has depth, that same way that my face has depth. This NYX blush in Mauve Me has the rich mauve tone that moves into a shimmery light pink. It’s like combining your highlighter and blush all in one. It isn’t one colour, because I’m not one colour.

The Face Shop Multi Stick Contour

In all my time using contouring makeup, I have rarely come across a contouring stick. I was worried that it would be too harsh or wouldn’t blend enough. The Face Shop’s Multi Stick is actually a really easy to use contour tool. The makeup is somewhere between a grey and beige. It should be versatile enough for many skin tones. Unlike a lot of contouring makeup, The Face Shop contour stick is quick and easy to use. Simply swipe it under your cheekbones, jaw line and nose for contouring in seconds. I used to save contouring for special occasions only, but now it’s an everyday thing. For just $15, this is an amazing investment.

Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit

While you are getting your skin all beautiful with blush and contouring, why not finish the job with a great concealer too. This set has 6 different creams to ensure your skin looks amazing. There are two correctors, two concealers and two highlighters. I really liked the concealers best. In all of my time using this little palette, there wasn’t a single blemish that I could find that didn’t give in to the colours. Blemishes were no match.

Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Topcoat

Let me tell you a tale of this little Essence mascara: The Forbidden Volume Mascara. This review started out very differently.

I received this essence product in a bag full of eye makeup for a glam night out. It had silver eyeliner and liquid liner. Everything a girl could ever want for serious drama. That’s why I was so surprised when I applied this to my lashes. There was no drama here. My lashes looked weak.

I downgraded this to a day product, but still wasn’t thrilled. After 2 or 3 coats, it would work as my office makeup look, but I don’t like having to work so hard for this.

I used this mascara for weeks. For some reason I wasn’t willing to give up on it. The colour was great on my eyes. I liked that it wasn’t waterproof, but stayed put. It came off easily at the end of the day. It never irritated my eyes. It was a bit clumpy sometimes, but I could usually clean the wand to fix it.

Finally it came time to write this review. I brought the Essence mascara to my computer. I started writing. I wanted to make sure that I got the name correct, so I looked at the package. Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Topcoat. Wait a minute! Topcoat? I had no idea it was a topcoat. The instructions on the side of the bottle say to apply it over your favourite mascara.

You mean this is to enhance your favourite mascara? I was never supposed to wear this alone! This changes everything. As a top coat, this essence mascara is perfect to add thickness and colour to your lashes. As a bonus, you can also wear it as your daytime mascara in a pinch. 😉

Makeup Most Wanted April 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

Thanks to going on vacation and Passover, I’m super behind on a lot of my posts but now that things have slowed down, I have a lot of new products that I’m using on a regular basis and in April, these ones were used more than most.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus

Before I cut my hair in March, using a dry shampoo was a tricky thing for me but if I used one, it was generally Batiste related. We received a couple new scents just in time for me to start using dry shampoo on a regular basis and Lotus is hands down my favourite Batiste dry shampoo yet. The description is pretty and opulent but all I can say is that it smells completely amazing. It’s a little fruity, a little floral and I really want to use it as a room spray (but I won’t waste it). It also works at giving me major volume, while freshening up my roots.

Vichy Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream

I loved the original Idéalia line, but Vichy recently reformulated and added new products to it. While, I’ve noticed most people pick the Night Peeling as their favourite, mine is this lightweight moisturizer. Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream is pretty much the perfect description for it. It comes out really soft and refreshing like a sorbet, melts into your skin instantly and keeps me pretty matte. It also gives me a really nice, subtle glow and has the same gorgeous almost raspberry like scent that I associate with the Idéalia line. This is going to be a great moisturizer for my combination skin this summer.

Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-In-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler

Now that my hair is shorter, it’s much easier to style, especially since I generally let it air dry. But it’s still curly and frizzy and this leave-in treatment from Garnier Fructis helps me detangle it gently and starts to minimize frizz. I do use other styling products with it but I can use it on it’s own and still like how my hair looks. The matching Moisture Lock shampoo and conditioner are good too but I like this detangler the most of the three. Using it on dry hair to refresh my curls also works, but if it’s too close to when I have to wash my hair, it gets a touch greasy.

Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Prude To Nude

I’m really a big fan of multi-tasking makeup and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick from YSL gives you a ton of options. The YSL website alone has twelve suggestions for cheeks and lips, not to mention you could totally use this as eyeshadow in a pinch. From Prude to Nude is a rose nude/mocha nude combo that combined gives me both a nice blush shade and a great nude lip for my complexion but I generally use it as a blush. It’s super tiny but you really don’t need to use a lot and it’s so easy to throw in your purse for touchups. And you’ll probably need a couple touchups in the summer because of the super creamy formula. The price is a little steep at $40, but not surprising considering it’s YSL, but you can get a ton of uses out of it, so it might actually save you from buying a couple other things in the long run.

Tarte TarteGuard Tinted Moisturizer

It’s been a long time that I have loved a product as much as I love this new Tarte Tinted Moisturizer. Unlike a lot of products, it literally does everything that I want it to and it arrived on beauty shelves just in time for summer.

Once you start using Tarteguard Tinted Moisturizer, you will be protecting your skin on so many levels. First as a moisturizer, it keeps your skin moisturized without getting oily. It absorbs quickly leaving your skin glowing, but not moist. It has very little scent, which is nice for those of us who hate perfumed moisturizers.  It’s also packed full of great ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E and apple extract, all protecting your face from the day.

As a tinted face product, this has just the right amount of coverage. I am a solid foundation lover. I usually avoid tinted moisturizer because it leaves me wanting more. This one has the perfect amount of sheer coverage. Pair it with a dab of concealer on those problem areas and you are ready to go. It gives a nice even look that lasts all day. The light-medium tone was good for winter, but as I have been getting more sun lately, I am going to move up to the medium. I am surprised there isn’t a darker option for people with darker skin, who still want a Tarte Tined Moisturizer. I think that’s a huge miss from Tarte, that should be addressed.

Finally, since it’s a part of the TarteGuard collection, this also has SPF 20 Sunscreen included. You might think that’s nothing, but as far as tinted moisturizers from makeup companies go, this one is pretty good. I took this on vacation to Miami with me this spring and didn’t get a burn on my face at all. Usually my face is the first place to show colour.

Overall, since the first time I used this Tarte moisturizer I have been hooked. Now I just have to make it last all summer.