Makeup Most Wanted November 2016: Alyssa’s Picks

I can’t believe it’s already the end of November; it feels like it was just summer and now we’re working on holiday posts. These are my favourite things from the past few months.

Korres Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir
Right now my anti-aging needs are mostly preventative but considering I’m a skin care junkie, I love to try new products. Boosters seem to be the new serums lately and I’m seeing them everywhere so I’ve tried a couple. Korres has my favourite of them so far. The Golden Krocus Elixir is pretty delightful. I love everything from the packaging, to the texture, to the slightly spicy scent. Made with Greek Saffron, you really only need a drop or two of this booster to get results. Now obviously I’m not looking for major results in wrinkles in my skin because I don’t have any; but my skin looks brighter, feels smoother and really just glows. It’s so light that it absorbs within seconds and you follow it up with whatever serums and moisturizers you’d normally use. It really feels amazing. I love the scent so much, I’ve been reaching for my unscented options.

Clinique Lash Power Flutter-To-Full Mascara
I have so much mascara that I actually have trouble on a regular basis deciding which one to use but I’ve been using this one for months and absolutely love it. I generally like Clinique’s mascaras but they all seem to serve only one purpose. I have one for volume and one for length but Flutter-To-Full is kind of a three-in-one. There’s a dial with three options that let’s you control how much intensity you get. The lowest form gives you a barely there, natural look. The next one amps it up a bit but still stays fairly natural and the third gives you major night look drama. I tend to always use the third option because I love big lashes but I appreciate the options. It also stays on forever without smudging or flaking. Clinique says 24 hours and I totally agree with that. They also say it comes off with warm water and I would like to disagree, I have the hardest time getting this one off but that also means I can trust it not to disappear on me.

Sephora Collection Double Time Double Ended Brush Set
I think one of the most underrated things about Sephora is their variety of Sephora brand brush sets. There’s something for every need and every budget and while they’re not always the highest quality, they usually do a decent job. I really love this Double Time set because each brush is double ended, so you get twelve travel brushes that look like six full size ones and handle like full size. This is a great set for travel because you have every brush you could need in one place and the faux leather is super soft and durable; just like the brushes themselves.

Avon Skin So Soft Winter Soft Nourishing Hand Cream
I think one of the first hand creams I ever used was from Avon (my mom sold it when I was in high school) and it’s really nice to know that it still works as well as I remember. I’m so picky about hand cream and this one works quite nicely. It goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy. It has Shea Butter, Babassu Oil and Vitamin E to soften and hydrate your hands. While it doesn’t last 24 hours for me like it claims, I only have to use it a couple times a day and my hands don’t feel dried out.

Maybelline The Loaded Bolds in Gone Greige

As much as I love a matte liquid lipstick, the winter dryness isn’t really letting me use them as much as I did in the summer, so I’m back to a creamier, more traditional lipstick. Maybelline’s The Loaded Bolds aren’t really a typical lipstick. They’re matte but they’re also extremely hydrating and comfortable. I keep forgetting that I’m wearing them because they feel like lip balm. The shades are also incredibly pigmented. One swipe and I have full coverage and zero patchiness. But it’s my favourite shade that surprises me the most. Greige anything doesn’t look good on me, it really washes me out and makes my skin, well, grey. I tried Gone Greige because I really wanted to love it. It’s such a 90’s inspired shade and I am a 90’s kid. So I was completely shocked when the grey-ish brown actually looked good on me. I hope they end up releasing more shades, because ten just doesn’t seem enough. At least I have a winter lipstick that I’ll be using a lot. And it’s not red.

Most Wanted Beauty Advent Calendars

I’m the kind of person that loves the little samples I can get at Sephora or when I’m ordering things online that let’s me try new products and while I’ve never used traditional advent calendars before, I love the idea of beauty advent calendars. You can try products or brands that are new to you or just use them as travel versions of your favourites. These are our Most Wanted beauty advent calendars of the year.
L’Occitane Advent Calendar 2016
This is the advent calendar that got me interested in the idea of these and people completely lose it over L’Occitane’s advent calendars every year. It’s full of 24 mini versions of everything from their cult fave hand cream to shower oil to shampoo. This one will definitely sell out everywhere, so if you can find one, grab it.
NYX Wanderlust 
If you’ve never used NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Creams, this is the way to try them out. This kit comes with twelve mini versions as well as twelve eyeshadows. Don’t like the shades? They’ll make great stocking stuffers or little add-on gifts for your friends.
Charlotte Tilbury World Of Legendary Parties
I’m so in love with the Charlotte Tilbury makeup I already use but I still have a fairly long list of things I still want to try. Most of those things are in the World Of Legendary Parties calendar. Filled with twelve travel-sized versions of products like Magic Cream, Wonderglow, Legendary Lashes, lip products, eye products and more; this is a great (and very luxe) way to introduce yourself to the Charlotte Tilbury world.
The Body Shop Ultimate Beauty
The Body Shop has two advent calendars this year; the Beauty Advent Calendar and the Ultimate Beauty. Both come with 24 bath, body and makeup goodies but the Ultimate Beauty just seems a little better to me. There’s everything from shower gel, makeup remover and nail polish to bath gloves and a muslin cloth. It’s literally everything you’d need to pamper yourself head to toe.

I know you’re supposed to open one advent calendar window a night, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be grabbing everything at once.

CND Vinylux Fall 2016 Craft Culture Collection

It might feel like winter in Toronto, but it’s still technically fall. And since I love fall nail polish collections (especially CND’s) I’m ok with that. Modern Folklore might still be my favourite Vinylux collection but Craft Culture is exactly what I expect from a CND fall launch; lots of shimmer and microglitter, some red and some unexpected shades that I really love.
Brass Buttons
I love when brands bring out shades like this. A yellow-gold microglitter, this goes on really smoothly and had great coverage in two coats. In the sunshine, the dimension in this shade is a little insane. It’ll totally carry over into a great holiday party shade too.
Hand Fired
I don’t have anything like this shade in my collection. Some that come close, but this rosy-copper shimmer is in a league all it’s own. Two coats of this one was perfect (but then, most of these are perfect in two coats) and it’s just such a pretty fall shade. One that I’ll be using a lot. Stunning.
Patina Buckle
This silvery plum shimmer was the one I was most excited to try. Unfortunately I must have gotten a bad bottle because there were some major issues. The first coat went on fine and it was gorgeous, the second coat was where the problems started. It became chunky and wouldn’t settle and it definitely did not play well with the top coat. Which is too bad because this shade is gorgeous. If I use it again, I’m sticking to one coat.
Fern Flannel
This deep teal blue shimmer is the kind of shade I’m known for loving and love it I do. One coat of this is pretty but two is way better. There’s a hint of grey in there that gives it depth.
Leather Satchel
This copper-brown shade was a little unexpected for me and I don’t know why. Two coats of this were great and while it shows some brushstrokes, it doesn’t really bug me with this one. I almost wish it was a tiny bit darker but it’s really nice either way.
And now we’re headed in to creme territory. Vinylux cremes are pretty spectacular. The go on super smooth and last for a really long time. Oxblood is a pretty typical dark red that surprisingly didn’t stain at all. One coat was nice and bright and it gets darker the more coats you add. The photo is two.
Brick Knit
Shade wise, this dark pumpkin shade (the closest I’ll get to pumpkin spice anything) was my favourite of the collection. Surprising, since I’m completely over orange nail polish. Two coats went on really easily and the wear was incredible, I went days without tip wear. And then the weirdness started. Getting this one off was like trying to take off Shellac like it’s regular nail polish. It took me forever to get it off and it stained really badly. I’m not sure what happened since Vinylux is usually a breeze to remove but I love this shade enough that I’ll probably try it again.
Denim Patch
I don’t remember ever trying a blue-grey shade like this before and I seriously can’t imagine why more of them don’t exist. This is the definite winner from the Craft Culture collection for me and to top it off, it’s a rare Vinylux one coater! I can’t tell you how much I love this gorgeous shade. I’ve worn it a lot already and I have lot of plans for it in the future.

Craft Culture is yet another fantastic fall collection from Vinylux. They just never disappoint me for fall shades and I can’t wait to see what else they have coming up. Most of these are available in Shellac as well.

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Collection

I’m getting older now and it’s finally time for me to start worrying about wrinkles. I have been using anti-wrinkle creams for years, but this collection from Nivea is one of my favourites so far.

I have to disclose that the collection isn’t all new. Nivea has given their collection a new look, which helped me discover it. I tried two products in the Nivea Q10 collection.


The Day Cream is a rich, thick moisturizer that is perfect for keeping your face protected all day long. After application my skin feels dewy and it absorbs well, just leaving the powdery scent behind.


The Replenishing Pearls Serum is a cooling gel serum that also leaves my skin feeling so soft.

I like that the pair are different consistencies. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy with too much moisturizer or sticky with gels. The products work perfectly in harmony. My skin, which can sometimes be prone to acne, loves this combo. I honestly can’t wait to try the rest of this line. It’s been a long time since I said that!

Vichy Teint Idéal

I have to admit, I’m not really a foundation person. I’m more likely to use a tinted moisturizer if I use anything at all, but I do appreciate a good foundation for days when I need a little more coverage. I generally don’t have a preference between liquid, cream and powder foundations, I’ll use any of them as long as they don’t irritate my combination skin or leave me with dry, flaky patches. So when Vichy announced they were releasing foundation, I was pretty excited. Vichy is one of my favourite skin care brands, so their makeup had to be as good, right? Vichy’s Teint Idéal comes in three formulas; liquid, cream and powder and I tried the liquid and powder.
The liquid shade I tried was 15 Ivory, which is the lightest shade. My skin hasn’t fallen into the super winter ghost-like appearance yet, so this was a pretty decent shade for me but it’s going to end up being slightly too dark by January. The foundation comes in five shades, which definitely won’t cover everyone, but this entire line needs way more shades. The liquid was pretty thin and since I generally apply liquid foundations with my fingers, I noticed that I really didn’t need a lot. Vichy says that this is a light to medium coverage. I disagree. This was basically full coverage unless I mixed it with moisturizer, which I ended up preferring. The entire Teint Idéal line is supposed to be illuminating and it really does that. My skin looks glowy and generally amazing. Unfortunately, this liquid made me break out. Since I break out so rarely, I’m guessing my skin just doesn’t agree with one of the ingredients. Luckily, I had another version to try.
For the powder compact, I used 1 Light which is again, the lightest shade they offer. Right away I knew the sponge that came with was going to be a pain to work with, too small and flimsy. So I used a fluffy powder brush and it worked with the foundation really well. This is more like a combination between a powder foundation and a pressed powder. I got really good sheer to medium coverage depending on how much I used and the best part is that even when I kept layering it on, it never got cakey or caused flakiness. It leaves my skin with a semi-matte finish and stays put for most of the day (I use the little sponge for minor touch-ups. The powder compact definitely won between the two foundations for me.
The Teint Idéal line also includes a cream foundation, concealer, highlighter and bronzer. I just wish it also came with more shade selection.

Gucci Bamboo Eau De Toilette

I always like a scent that’s a little heavier going into fall and winter and when we received a couple fragrances from Gucci, I was pretty sure these weren’t going to be lightweight scents. The word bamboo makes me think light however, so I really have no idea what to expect before trying this. A woody-floral with notes of mandarin essence, ylang ylang, casablanca lily, comoros sandalwood and gray amber accord; nothing screamed heavy to me.

At first spritz, it seems light and a little different but still just a tiny bit too floral for me. Most scents seem to mellow out with time but this one almost seemed to intensify for me. The longer I wore it, the more I could smell it and I got a couple headaches because of it. There technically isn’t anything that I shouldn’t like about Bamboo but maybe there’s a note I don’t know about that I just don’t like or just the combination of them. I shoujld mention that I tried the Eau de Toilette, so I don’t know what the Eau de Parfum smells like, but apparently it’s different, and I’m assuming, even heavier.

I really wanted to like Gucci Bamboo, but I was definitely defeated by it. That said, my mom loves it and already asked me for it.

Wander Beauty Slide Liner & Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel

Slide Liner

Eyeliner is one of my favourite makeup products and I prefer a pencil over anything else. Kohl, gel, it doesn’t matter, I just like the control I get with a pencil. I’d also prefer to not have to sharpen it. Enter Wander Beauty’s Slide Liner Automatic Gel Eyeliner. I was already impressed with the initial Wander Beauty products I had tried, so I had high hopes for these pencils. I was given Black Sand and Tan Line to try and I was really happy with these pencils. They’re unbelievably pigmented and creamy, which makes applying them a breeze. They’re a little soft, so the pointed tip goes away pretty quickly but I can live with that. What I love the most is how long they last. On my upper lash line, these didn’t budge for hours and while my waterline didn’t fare as well, these did last longer than most gel eyeliners. Use an eyeshadow primer and you’ll be golden.
Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel

I love blush almost an unreasonable amount for someone with so much pink in my skin but I hate travelling with it. When I’m away, I keep the brushes to a minimum. Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel is an interesting hydrating stain balm concoction that actually does what I want it to. I tried Pink City (mauve) and Island Hop (bright pink). These work really well as a blush and are extremely buildable but also natural looking, so you don’t have to worry about looking a little clown-like. Because these are part stain, they last a really long time. I do like them for my lips as well but more as a tinted lip balm than an actual stain.
Wander Beauty just keeps impressing me and you could totally hit the road with just the Slide Liners and Carryons and get a decent look out of it. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.

For more information on Wander Beauty products you can go to their website but you can only buy them in Canada at Sephora.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Quickie Review

There’s nothing I love more in skin care than an overnight mask but a lot of them don’t work quite as well as I want them to. I’d never used anything from Origins before and we received the Breast Cancer Awareness version of their Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask a few months ago. We get so much skin care to review that this honestly stayed on my shelf until a couple weeks ago when I started getting my seasonal dry, scaly patches near my mouth. I tried about ten new products to help me get them cleared up with zero success and then I tried Drink Up Intensive.

This overnight mask felt a little different right away. It’s a little bit thicker than I’m used to and took a good twenty minutes to fully absorb (so wait a little while before you go to bed) but it smells amazing, like rose and apricots and felt soothing right away. I woke up with seriously radiant skin, so much that people kept telling me that my skin looked amazing. And those scaly patches? One application turned them into simple red patches and the more I use it, the better they get.

I’m really happy I tried Drink Up Intensive before winter gets into full swing because this mask is going to save my skin and I’m already wondering what other Origins products I’m missing out on.

If you want to try this mask, you can get the Breast Cancer Awareness version until December 31, 2016 and as part of the The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign, $5 off each one will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation up to $40,000.

October Makeup Most Wanted


Cake Beauty Rush Brush Dry Shampoo Powder Volumizing Brush – I love dry shampoo, but I have always been more drawn to spray shampoos over powders. I’ve used a number of powder dry shampoos, but I always had a big problem with applying powder to my hair. The Rush Brush fixed that. This powder has a brush attached to it, so that you can brush it into your hair. The powder has a bit of a sweet smell and a little golden shimmer, but nothing that will be irritating or change the colour of your hair. I am having so much fun with this powder. Bonus it’s small and easy to travel with!


No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum – I’m not a huge fan of serums, but No 7’s advanced serum is more than just your average serum. My main issue with serums is that the request too much dedication. This serum has more going on than just long term effects. This one also gave my face serious moisture when I applied it. It absorbs really quickly and leaves my skin feeling surprisingly smooth. My skin felt amazing just days after using it.


Biotherm Aquasource Everplump – When I do turn to a moisturizer, this is one of the ones that I always keep close at hand. Biotherm makes one of the best moisturizers on the market. Their gel moisturizer actually changed the way I think about my skin. It doesn’t surprise me that I love the Everplump variety of one of my favourite moisturizers. From the new plumping formula to the smoothing feel to the pine scent, it all combines to leave my face looking beautiful and feeling great.


Clinique City Block Purifying Collection – I have loved the new Clinique charcoal clay-based  collection this fall. There is a cleansing gel and a mask + scrub and both have a fun black colour that are fun to use. The gel cleanser is for everyday use. It’s really thick and, well, gel-like in its consistency. You will need a lot of water to get a good lather and texture on your face. I found it easier to use in the shower. The payoff is great, because your face feels clean and soft. For a deeper clean try the scrub. This one is great to use as a mask, because you can feel it working on your skin as it dries. I don’t know about you, but nothing beats a good clay mask in my books.


Bosley Healthy Hair Rebalancing & Finishing Treatment – This bottle of hair oil doesn’t look pretty or fancy. That’s why it took me so long to use it. Once I read the bottle I was impressed by everything it claimed to do. You can use it on damp hair, dry hair or your scalp. I’ve had scalp issues for months, so I knew I had to try it. And now I will never go back! Rubbing this oil into my scalp after a shower helped my head stop being so dry and itchy after just two uses. I have been suffering for months and the solution was in this little bottle. The bonus is that I can use it on the rest of my hair to make it smooth and shiny. Thank you Bosley!

Gosh Contour’N Strobe Kit


I like the idea of these contour kits that give you all the powders that you need in one place, but Gosh is joining my contour game pretty late. I have spent the past year trying contour kits from every other brand and I only just got the Gosh palette now. Trying to get me to change my favourites at this point is a challenge.

The first thing that I notice is that the colours in this palette all seem to have a bit of a golden sparkle. Luckily for me, that tone suits me, but be careful if gold isn’t your colour. Even though gold suits me, I don’t always want to sparkle. That kept me away from this makeup kit more than anything else.

I want to contour, but not to sparkle. The powders themselves are ok. The darker contouring powder was too dark for me, so I was thankful for two options.

The blush and the highlighter gave me the glow I expected. Overall this palette was ok, but as I said it’s coming last in the contour trend and I already have my makeup bag favourites set. If it isn’t offering me something new, I don’t know why I would replace it.