Both Stephanie and I are going on vacation in the next few months and we decided to do a series of travel essentials posts to help us figure out what to bring with us. I figured we should start off the series with Wander Beauty, a new company that was inspired by travel and has made it easy for us to take less products. We got to try four of their products and I was really impressed overall, but I have definite favourites. Exquisite Eye Liquid Shadow in Dove Grey
I love the idea of taking one eyeshadow with me on a trip but let’s be honest, if you’re going out at night, you’ll need more. Luckily, this liquid shadow is great one it’s own or as a base. Dove Grey isn’t really a true grey, it’s more of a beige grey, which means it’ll work with a ton of other colours. Unlike a lot of liquid shadows, this one doesn’t get sticky and uncomfortable and lasts hours without creasing. I could do with a little less shimmer but I do really like it enough that I would try other shades. Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe
My eyebrows are so pale that they’re basically white, so I usually pick the lightest brow shade possible. When we got the Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe instead of Blonde, I was hesitant but with a light hand I managed to pull it off. The pencil wasn’t too soft, letting me make short, quick strokes. This is my favourite kind of brow product and I love that there’s a spoolie on the end, making it truly travel friendly. Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick in Light
Again, I would’ve normally picked the fair shade instead of light, but with summer coming, I know I’ll be getting a little colour in my face and this shade wasn’t really too dark for me to begin with. The stick is extremely creamy and easy to blend and the formula is comfortable to wear. It’s more of a sheer coverage but you can build up to more of a medium coverage if you want. This is definitely one of my favourites. Wanderout Dual Lipsticks in Nikki Beach/BB
This is really such a genius idea for travel makeup. You get two shades of lipstick that click into the same case, one on each end. Nikki Beach is a bright watermelon shade and BB is a rosy nude. I would normally go for BB alone but mixing it with Nikki makes the perfect summer shade and since they’re already attached, it’s so easy to get.
I’m really loving the products I’ve tried from Wander Beauty. Right now it’s only available online at Sephora in Canada and we don’t have access to all the products just yet, but I’m hoping they add more. Stay tuned for more travel essentials.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your brushes and makeup tools are just as important as the actual makeup you buy. This season, I did a little spring cleaning and updated my brush collection with some new winners.
Sephora Tough As Nails – This is the most bad ass nail set I have ever seen. The second I saw it, I knew I wanted it. The square case had a faux leather, black patent finish and industrial zipper that makes it look so cool to hold. I wish this was a clutch. The tools inside are just as tough. There are 7 tools inside that can transform even the roughest and toughest nails. They aren’t going to crack under pressure. When you hold them in your hands, you can feel that these are heavy duty. Since my boyfriend often steals my nail clippers, I appreciate that now I have a pair strong enough for a man too.
Tweezerman Mini Face Contour Brush Set – Since contouring is no longer just for makeup artists and beauty pros, it’s time we all fully understood the proper brushes to use. This set has so many functions. Since I am heading out on a trip soon, all I can think is that it’s ideal for travel. The mini-size and bonus beauty blender are perfect for taking on-the-go. It’s also great for giving you options for face brushes, so that you can test out a few varieties. The flat and pointed brushes, plus the blender, help someone not as familiar with brushes understand the different types. If it was the holidays I would even call this a perfect stocking stuffer. Hopefully, these little sets stay around for a while.
Wacoal 30 Years Of Beauty Brush Set – This little set is so luxurious feeling, no one will believe that it came from a lingerie store. The brushes are so soft and fluffy. All I wanted to do the second I got them was brush light powder all over my face. They are also a nice weight, not too light or heavy. The black container is perfect for giving the brushes that luxe feel. You will love the ritual of unwrapping them and putting them away.
Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush – Calling a brush perfect is daring, but when you have foundation like Shiseido does, you don’t need much to make it feel perfect. Shiseido’s little foundation brush is different from a lot of other brushes that I have used. It makes me feel like I am moving up to the next level of makeup brushes. The short bristles are soft, but not too flexible making it easier to spread cream foundations. I am usually not partial to mini-brushes at home, but in this case I feel like I have more control with this brush.
I’ve used a ton of Too Faced products over the year but other than my beloved Melted Liquid Lipstick, I’ve never used their lipsticks. Even though they just launched La Matte Lipstick (and trust me, I’ll definitely get around to those), I was way more interested in the new La Crème shades. We’ve been using so much matte lipstick lately that I’ve almost forgotten what creme lipstick feels like. And with names like Unicorn Tears, I was sold. We got to try eight of the new shades (we’re missing Topless and Sugar Daddy) and one of the originals, Pink Chocolate.
These lipsticks go on ridiculously smooth. They’re soft enough to be able to maneuver but hard enough that they don’t end up all over the place. Because they’re not matte, they’re also not transfer-proof and you really have to reapply pretty often. The upside is, they’re really comfortable and moisturizing and feel fantastic.
The shades are also incredible. I had to try Unicorn Tears first because I was so intrigued. It’s an iridescent shimmer that you can wear on it’s on or over another lipstick and it’s insanely gorgeous. Pink Chocolate might be the oldest shade in the bunch but it’s one of those shades that’ll look great on anyone. WHAM!, however, is my favourite. Too Faced calls it an iridescent raspberry and that’s a decent enough description but it’s really so much more than that. It’s the perfect red for a night out when you want something different. The shimmer just makes it something special.
I might have favourite shades but they’re really all stunning and there’s something for everyone with over twenty colours to pick from. I might have a hard time deciding between the shades and the names, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Spring really does a number on my face. The dryness from winter isn’t gone yet and my allergies from all the growing things make my skin way more sensitive. That sensitivity causes more redness, which in turn results in me wearing more makeup than normal. It’s a vicious cycle but I’ve found some new products that are quickly becoming essentials in my spring face routine. Hylamide Booster Series Sensitive Fix
I’ve tried so many things for redness that have done absolutely nothing for me. Imagine my surprise when I started using this Sensitive Fix Serum and saw results almost immediately. If I’m being good and actually using this twice a day, the redness in my skin reduces by a significant amount. It’s extremely lightweight and absorbs immediately without any stickiness. And if I’m feeling lazy, I mix some into my moisturizer. There also isn’t a heavy scent which is great for those who have really sensitive skin. StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream
I’ve been pretty obsessed with StriVectin lately. There hasn’t been a single product I’ve tried that hasn’t done what it said it was going to. Granted, I don’t have a ton of skin issues and I’m not trying to get rid of wrinkles but I’m definitely working on preventative measures. The Multi-Action Restorative Cream is supposed to address fine lines, wrinkles, density, firmness, sagging, texture, dehydration, dullness, discoloration, clarity, resilience and enlarged pores. This cream looks really thick but it’s not and it sinks in fast. I’ve noticed a difference in the dehyration, dullness and enlarged pore camps, but I was looking for those. In general I’ve just noticed my skin looks better. Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick
In the spring, I’m still looking for a creamy, hydrating foundation and Chubby In The Nude is definitely that. It also allows me to only cover the areas I need to. This is sheer to medium coverage so it’s extremely natural looking but if you’re looking for full coverage, you’ll want to skip this one. It blends into my skin tone really well and is really great for travel when you don’t want to deal with gloopy foundation. Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer
I don’t think I have color issues on my eyelids but I do love the fact that this is the only Kat Von D foundation product that isn’t too dark on me. The fair shade is perfect for my skin tone and the crayon format makes it really easy to prime my eyes for shadow. Lock-It is kind of an understatement, once you apply shadow, it’s not moving. So if you want to blend, use my trick. Only apply this below your crease so you can blend above it. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
I love when products end up being multi-purpose. I was hesitant to try a primer oil because I wasn’t sure it would stick. I was partially right. I find when I use this with a super hydrating foundation, it feels like makeup is sliding off my face. But when I use it with something more dry, it’s perfect. I’ve also been using it on it’s own for a little glow and I mix it with a drop of concealer or foundation for a tinted moisturizer. It’s not greasy at all and is really, really hyrating. It might not be exactly what you’d expect from a Smashbox primer but I actually love how different it is.
Most of us who love lipstick will probably reluctantly admit that it’s usually not the most comfortable thing to wear. Especially if it’s matte. I put off trying Maybelline’s Vivid Matte Liquid for a couple reasons. 1. We have a ton of lipstick to review right now and 2. My lips are completely dried out from winter and I was scared to throw another matte lipstick on them. Now that I’ve tried Vivid Matte Liquid, I wish I had started using it right away.
This is quite possibly the most comfortable lipstick I’ve ever tried. The formula is really creamy and it’s sort of like putting actual butter on your lips and it leaves a really pillowy feeling. Of course being that creamy, it takes some practise to get your lipstick looking right. The trick is to start in the middle of your lips and work your way out.
The colours are extremely pigmented and most are really vivid like the name suggests. Of the four I tried (there are ten all together), Nude Flush was the only one that wasn’t bright. These lipsticks don’t completely dry like a true matte, so there’s quite a bit of colour transfer but even when these do wear off, there’s a bit of a stain left behind. The plus side is, they don’t get cakey when you reapply because they’re so smooth.
If you want to feel like you have pillows on your lips, you need to try this lipstick.
Another month is gone, and even with one extra day February still seemed extra short this year. Regardless, I still found the time to discover a few hot new products that I am in love with!
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer – I have almost said good bye to foundation these last few weeks thanks to this new concealer. This concealer is made specifically for erasing those dark circles under the eyes. It’s perfect for that, but it also works at concealing any other annoying spots on your face with perfect precision. I find it incredibly hard to find a concealer that I love and can depend on. This one is simple and effective in all the right ways.
Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara – I have tried a lot of bad mascaras lately. I thought about writing a post about all of the bad ones, but instead I’m going to celebrate the one great one! This new mascara has been my new favourite. Imagine long, thick, curled lashes every single day. It’s max colour and volume that is perfect for day or night!
Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes – Who needs regular face wash when you have these towels on hand? These Pond’s wipes are everything you want in a regular face wash, without having to worry about water and rinsing. They give a great clean that leaves my face feeling refreshed. They are also surprisingly moisturizing. I shouldn’t be too surprised though… it’s Pond’s after all. I love their baby powder soft scent too for a before bed clean.
Dove Quench Absolute Hair Care – This line doesn’t technically hit shelves until next month, but I need to tell you now so that you can rush to stores in March!!! I have tried Dove hair products before, but they didn’t leave a lasting memory. This new line though shocked me. In the shower, this Dove shampoo and conditioner didn’t seem like anything special, it was only after it dried that I was impressed. Time after time, this Dove hair line left my hair soft and moisturized. My curls were bouncy, and that never happens! Frizz was a distant memory. I see a future of soft beautiful hair, hopefully not just for me, but you too!
Vichy Normaderm 3 In 1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask – I already loved the Normaderm line. It’s my favourite of all of Vichy’s skin care products. Imagine my glee when Vichy added to the collection with a product that isn’t just a cleanser. It isn’t just a scrub. It isn’t just a mask either. It’s gentle enough to be able to be used regularly. You can also leave it on your face as a pore cleansing mask. When budgets are tight, this is the kind of smart products that one needs!
As much as I love a matte lip, my lips are starting to pay the price and get really dried out. FLOWER’s Hydrasilk Ultimate Lip Butter, while not matte, is a great solution for someone who wants hydrated lips while still wearing great colour. Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER line is only available at Walmart, which means these lip butters are super affordable at around $8 each.
They come in six shades (we’re missing UL1 – Naked Petal) and some are definitely more pigmented than others. Because they’re so creamy though, it’s easy to build up to the look you want. These lip butters are so comfortable that it feels like you’re not wearing anything but lip balm and even after the colour wears off, your lips still feel moisturized.
UL2 – Rose Petal is my favourite daytime shade and when I want more colour I go for UL5 – Ruby Petal, which also seems to be the most pigmented. The shades are all really flattering and easy to wear and the pen makes it really easy to apply. But the best part is how these feel on your lips and I really love how you get the feel of a balm with the colour of a lipstick.
I’m a big supporter of The Face Shop. I’ve loved every product that I have tried since they came to Canada. That’s why I wanted to share my disappointment in the Ink Lipquid products.
Everything about this product should be great. The containers look great. The shades of this lip colour are amazing. Seriously, the shades are vibrant and bold in all of the right ways.
When you pull the wand out of the product, you will notice the first flaw. The smell is not appealing! It’s something between actual ink and paint. It smells like something you would put on the wall, not your lips.
I applied it anyways, because I am brave, crazy and hopefully. The product is very runny. It doesn’t want to stay in place on my lips, but it also doesn’t want to spread easily. It is a funny conundrum.
The worst part is the taste! I know, you aren’t supposed to take your lipstick. It’s inevitable, especially because of how runny the product is. When this Face Shop lip ink gets in your mouth it is honestly, disgusting. It tastes horrible. It’s not something you can easily get over.
If the colours were bold and beautiful on my lips, I might forgive it. The colour is very pale on my lips, maybe because of how thin the formula is.
Whatever the reason, this is a skippable product in my books. It’s ok though, because there are so many other amazing products from The Face Shop that I won’t have any problem finding something wonderful.
I’ve been trying to wear a lot more lipstick lately and I’ve been firmly on the matte lipstick train but some days my lips need a break from how drying they can be. Essence’s Liquid Lipsticks are kind of the complete opposite of a matte liquid lipstick. They’re pigmented like a lipstick but go on like a gloss.
These super affordable lipsticks have a doe foot applicator that make application pretty easy and come in six shades. While they are definitely more like a gloss than a lipstick, there isn’t any stickiness until they start to wear off, and then they get pretty sticky. But unlike a gloss, they keep their colour really well. Wear time is only about an hour or so on me. My biggest issue with these lipsticks is that they move. I’m constantly checking my lips to see where the colour ended up and that ends up with me wiping product off the skin around my lips. Considering these have a bit of a stain to them, that’s an issue for me.
That said, if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a matte liquid lipstick, you should really give these a try. Make A Statement (06) is my favourite shade.
Whether you’re going out with a significant other or hanging out with the girls, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean super complicated makeup. So we’ve come up with some great products that’ll make your life a little easier. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Vintage Vamp
Charlotte Tilbury makes her eyeshadow quads really easy for us. All the shades are colour co-ordinated, there’s a little diagram to show us where to use what shade and they pretty much work for any skin tone. I’m in love with The Vintage Vamp. I use the top two shades for every day and the bottom two for added drama. This pink, gold and plum palette goes on so smoothly that I barely need to blend. Plus it’s really pigmented so you can get away with one pass of a brush. The bonus is these shadows last for hours, so I’ve never had to use a shadow primer with them. Yves Rocher Top Coat For Eye Makeup Fixing
Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t glam up your makeup. These gels transform any old eye makeup into something with more wow factor. It’s easy to use! First you apply your makeup as usual. Second, choose your finish whether it’s glossy, metallic or pearly. Apply the gel using the applicator brush on your lids over your makeup. When I used it with powder shadow, I found that it wiped off my eye shadow. It worked best for me with liner or something that was stronger. The finishes are fun and perfect for any celebration look. Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in One Of A Kind
This winter I have been all about dark lipsticks this winter. I love them so much. My biggest decision has been red or purple lipstick. Rimmel’s new shade and formula is the perfect mix of both. This lipstick is a rich berry that will satisfy your need to go to the dark side, in a day appropriate way. The lipstick even smells like berries. If you see me around, expect to see the shade! Clarins 3 Dot Liner
This liner is supposed to make applying the perfect eyeliner easier, but for someone who isn’t confident applying liner it’s terrifying. The three dot pen tip looks like I will just make more mistakes rather than less. Instead it’s easy to get a slick black line. My own line is a bit thicker than I would normally apply it, but it looks great, so I’m not going to complain. Anyone who is trying find their perfect black eye liner should give this innovative pen a try. If you are more skilled than I am, you might be able to create some amazing looks. FLOWER Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder
I get a little shiny, so I love a finishing powder and FLOWER’s new Miracle Matte powder is fantastic. It’s really silky and easily blends into your skin. It gives you a great matte finish while covering up any imperfections and really does a good job minimizing my pores. It’s the perfect way to finish up the makeup process and it’s a really easy way to make your skin look amazing without a ton of product.