Cosmetics

Arbonne Cosmetics: A “Poppy” of Colour

My love of lipstick is no secret: pinks, purples, reds, nudes, I love them all! More recently, I’ve also been interested in finding cleaner, more natural products to work into my lifestyle.  So, when I was recently offered the opportunity to test out a product from Arbonne, it was somewhat serendipitous!

With botanically based ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and a shipping process that is certified carbon neutral, Arbonne really is taking the lead in the cosmetic industry with regard to being earth-friendly.  They sell everything from supplements, to bath and body products, to makeup, and all are formulated with pure, safe, and beneficial ingredients.  There’s even an ingredient guide on their website, so you’ll always have the peace of mind of knowing what you’re putting on or in your body.

The product I chose to test was Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick in the colour “Poppy”: a gorgeous reddish-orange hue.  The first thing I noticed about this lipstick was how smoothly it applied.  It’s got a rich, creamy consistency that feels super luxurious (it’s formulated with natural butters), and it left my lips feeling soft and moisturized throughout the day.  It’s richly pigmented and has a glossy finish that makes your lips appear fuller and plumper.  Because it’s vegan and formulated with natural ingredients, (botanical extracts, fruit oils, and etcetera), you’ll want to apply it gently to avoid damaging the product.  Arbonne also recommends storing it in a cool, dry place (because no one wants a melted lipstick in their purse or car!).

The Smoothed Over Lipstick comes in over 15 different colours ranging from neutrals to brights, and retails for $34.00 CDN.  Some others I have my eye on? “Dream”, “Peony”, “Dahlia”…and pretty much every other colour (it’s a problem!).

Have you tried any Arbonne products? What’s your favourite?  Let me know in the comments below!                             

*Product provided for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.
Advertisements

March/April Favourites!

March-April 2015 Favourites
I hope Spring is treating you all well so far! Here’s what I’ve been loving for the months of March and April.

1. Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette

After reading all the rave reviews and seeing swatches online, I purchased this palette during the most recent Sephora VIB sale.  The 12 shadows are a gorgeous, creamy texture, and are impressively pigmented.  The colours range from light neutrals to darks, making it extremely versatile (and perfect to keep in your purse to help transition your look from day-to-night).  I also love the packaging: super chic and girly!

2. Dove Beauty Finish Dry Spray Antiperspirant

New from Dove, this antiperspirant sprays on (as opposed to a glide-on stick formula), dries instantly, and lasts up to 48 hours while moisturizing the skin.  I admit that upon purchasing it, I was a little skeptical that a spray could be as effective as a stick deodorant.  But I was pleasantly surprised when, 14 hours later, the pretty floral scent (water lily, freesia, and jasmine) was still present.  I also love that, because it dries instantly, you don’t get any white deodorant marks on your clothes (finally!).

3. Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter

I love this product so much, that I actually wear it in place of lipstick some days.  Not only does it smell amazing (exactly like its namesake states), it is also super moisturizing (thanks to shea butter and almond oil) and long-wearing.

4. Christian Siriano for Payless Perforated Wedge

I originally went into Payless Shoe Source looking to use a coupon I received during a previous visit.  I had my sights set on a pretty pair of floral pumps, but sadly my size was absent.  I then spotted these on the top shelf, and as soon as I tried them on, I knew it was meant to be.  These are, by far, one of the comfiest pairs of shoes I’ve ever owned.  They are super easy to walk in thanks to the wedge heel, and go with nearly everything: jeans, dresses, and ankle pants.

5. Alex and Ani “Everything Happens for a Reason” Charm Bangle

When it comes to bracelets, t-shirts, or nearly anything adorned with a positive saying, I need to have it.  I’m also a big believer in the idea that everything comes our way in life for a reason.  I received this bangle as a gift, which has since sparked a slight Alex and Ani obsession (I Instagramed about some of my others here).  As someone who has ridiculously small wrists, I love that I can adjust these bangles to fit perfectly, and also that each one has its own special meaning.

 

What have you been loving these last couple of months? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Beauty in the Nude: My Favourite Neutral-Toned Products

Nude

As much as I love getting dressed up every now and then (fake lashes, contouring, the whole nine yards), there are times when looking like your headed to prom isn’t really appropriate, or necessary.  Below are some of my favourite neutral-toned products for those days when you want that ethereal “no makeup, but yes I’m wearing makeup” glow.  Some of these products are drugstore purchases, others are higher priced items.  Click the links below to buy the products online.  A certain product not in your budget this month? No worries, just use it as inspiration to find similar products on your own, or send me an email/leave me a message below and I’ll do the work for you!

1. Revlon Color Stay Nude Expressions Nail Polish in “Nude Beige” (Limited Edition)

When it comes to nail polish, I tend to lean more towards unique, vibrant colours (like this one I blogged about recently).  However, as soon as I applied this nude polish, I fell in love.  The colour complimented my skin tone perfectly, applied beautifully, and lasted for days.  No need to layer 5 coats to achieve colour-payoff, I only needed two to obtain a perfect, even hue.

2. Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in “N4”

A good nude lipstick is hard to find.  They’re either too pink, too brown, or leave you looking like you have no lips (not cute).  Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural line is full of beautiful neutral tones, including my personal favorite “N4, Pink Beige”.  Wear it alone for a creamy finish, or layer it under a pink or brown gloss (like the one below) for an extra shiny finish.

3. Bath and Body Works Liplicious Lip Gloss in “Amazon Coconut”

Introduced as part of their Summer collection, this gloss is not currently available to purchase online (though I did see some fairly recently in-store).  This gloss is a bronzy-gold tone, that applies sheer and smells like heaven (aka: coconut).  My personal favourite pairing is with the lipstick above, but it looks great on it’s own too.  Fingers crossed that Bath and Body Works brings it back again this Summer!

4. Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna”

Not shimmery, not too dark, and not too thick: all these things make this bronzer my daily go-to.  It creates a believable “I just got back from the Bahamas” glow, and is finely milled so it won’t cake when applied over your foundation.  I’ve yet to find a bronzer that I love as much as this one.

5. Covergirl Bombshell Shine Eye Shadow in “Copper Fling” and “Gold Goddess” 

Newly released, these creamy, highly pigmented shadows work great as a base underneath other shadows, or on their own.  As someone who has oily skin, I didn’t have any issues with creasing or melting, and the shine lasted the whole day.  What’s great about these shadows is that they can be applied thicker for a rich, shiny finish, or applied with a lighter hand for a more subtle, shimmery look.  Other colours from this collection on my wishlist? “Ooh La Lilac” and “Platinum Club”.

6. Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in “Baked Starburst”

This pinwheel style blush is not only pretty, it’s also a serious multi-tasker.  Wear all shades together for a pretty, neutral, luminescent blush, or wear each shade individually as eye shadow, highlighter, or mix with a gloss to create a custom lip colour.  Because it can do so much, it’s also great for travelling!

7. Urban Decay Naked Palettes (1, 2, 3, and Basics)

All or any of these pallets are an amazing addition to your makeup collection.  The shadows are highly pigmented, apply smoothly, and blend easily.

The original Naked palette is a collection of matte and shimmery bronzed-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Buck”, “Naked”, and “Half Baked”).

Naked1

The Naked 2 palette is a collection of matte and shimmery taupe-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Busted”, “YDK” and “Foxy”).

Naked2

The newly released Naked 3 palette is a collection of matte and shimmery pink-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Nooner”, “Factory”, and “Blackheart”).

Naked3

Lastly, the Naked Basics palette is a collection of 6 matte, neutral hues (which are perfect for work or every-day).

Naked Basic

The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural ~Calvin Klein

Falling for Autumn: Wearable Fall Makeup

Fall Makeup

As someone who’s always cold, I cringe when summer ends and I have to start wearing jackets, layering, and remotely starting my car (heat pre-set on high!). One thing I do love about the fall season though, is the colour pallet: burgundy, red, earthy brown, all colours that can flatter nearly every skin tone.  I wanted to share some of my favourite products for fall, some of which I use all year round, and others that I’ve just discovered.  Let’s get started!

1.    Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino-$9.00

This brand is becoming one of my favourites, and though harder to find in Canada, you can purchase their products online through Well.ca, or from the Milani website (or, if you’re planning a cross-border shopping trip, you can find it at Walgreens, CVS, or Target).  Their products are nicely packaged, highly pigmented, and affordable. This blush, in the colour “Red Vino”, is a beautiful shimmery-red tone, making it perfect for both fall and the holiday season.  One tip: a little bit of this product goes a long way, so be sure to apply it with a light hand and then blend, blend, blend!  Don’t be scared of a red-toned blush, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the glow it can give your skin.

2.  Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow– $26.00      

When the colder seasons are upon us,  makeup styles tend to become bolder and richer, and in order to balance the look, your brows should follow suit.  This is a new product that I decided to try out, and fell in love with.  Essentially, it is a fibre-gel brow product that applies with a mascara-type wand, and takes all the work out of using a pencil to fill in your brows.  For me, it lasted all day, and also kept my brows in shape, eliminating the need for a clear brow gel as well (two birds with one stone, so to speak).  This product comes in two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark (I naturally have medium brown hair, and use the Medium/Dark shade).  In an effort to look younger or more youthful, many professional makeup artists swear by the step of simply filling out your brows.  This product makes it quick (and even fun) to achieve this with very little effort.

3.  Clinique All About Shadow in Black Honey-$19.00 

I’ve expressed my love before for the highly-popular Black Honey collection that Clinique DSC_1249sells.  This time, I’m swooning over their eye shadow version of the rich, shimmery, plumy-brown colour.  When paired with a rose gold or champagne-toned base (I used Clinique’s shadow in Lucky Penny), this darker tone becomes surprisingly natural and wearable for every day.  Layer it with a heavier hand, and it becomes a beautiful, rich, smoky eye. As someone who used to suffer from frequent adverse reactions from my eye makeup, I also love that Clinique’s products are hypoallergenic and non-irritating.  Other fall-ready colours I recommend from Clinique? Daybreak, Olive in My Martini, and Deep Dive.  Check them all out, here.

4.  Nars Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte-$28.00

A product that I wear nearly every day, all year long, is this creamy, long lasting almond-tone eyeliner which I apply to my waterline (the smooth area just above your bottom lash line).  This little trick is a proven way to make your eyes look brighter and more awake, perfect for those fall days when you could have used a few extra hours of sleep!  (Tip: to prevent any eye irritations, be sure to frequently clean the eyeliner you use on your waterline.)  This product applies smoothly and even comes with it’s own hidden sharpener.  If you prefer an even bolder look, try using a white pencil instead.

5.  Revlon ColorBust Lip Gloss in Bordeaux$11.00

I feel as though a lip colour can completely change your entire look for the day.  Pair a neutral eye with a neutral lip for an easy work-ready look, then simply swap out the lip product for a rich red or burgundy, and you’re ready to hit the town.  For fall, I’m loving wine-coloured, bold tones, including this gloss by Revlon.  A tip to keep your bold lips looking great all day? Line the outside of your lips with a little concealer after applying lipstick or gloss, and watch how much more they stand out!

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

L’Oreal Private Sale: My Experience

loreal 5

As L’Oreal is one of my favLoreal ticketourite drugstore cosmetic lines, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit their annual Fall private sale (I was able to get tickets through my employer).  I have visited this sale in previous years, and it’s a great opportunity to stock up on all your favourites and essentials.  The sale wasn’t just for L’Oreal products, but also included brands such as Maybelline, Yves Saint Laurent, Biotherm, Diesel, Lancôme, Vichy, Essie, Garnier, and more.  There were some great deals to be had, but I did find that the prices have gone up a smidge since the last visit.  Getting in does require a ticket, however one pass gains entry for 2 people (so if you know someone with a ticket, you can be their guest!). Or, you can find them fairly easily on Kijiji.

loreal 1

When I first arrived, the small parking lot was absolutely packed, and I was directed by security to park at a church down the road.  Luckily, there was a shuttle bus to take you to and from the sale (which ran every 5 minutes or so).  You walk through the door, your ticket is scanned, and you instantly are overwhelmed by row after row of products and goodies.  The first aisle was mostly shampoos, conditioners and hair products, followed by aisles full of nail polishes, and cosmetics (mostly foundations, blushes, eye shadows, lipsticks, and liners).  The following rows also had various gift packages (the kind you get with your purchase at department stores, or the value sets you see during the holidays).  I’ll be sure to list some of my best deals down below.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of the venue.

loreal 4

loreal 2

My Haul, and Some of the Best Deals:

Loreal haul

I definitely got some great deals at sale, but as you can see from the picture above, I was also pretty strong.  My cart before I got to the checkout was topped full with face creams, eye shadows and gift sets, but one really important thing to remember at sale like this, is that you don’t need everything.  It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the deals and hype, that you end up spending more than you planned, and go home with things that just sit in your closet until they expire.  One feature at the sale that proved to be really helpful was a lineup of tables near the checkout that let you sort through all the things you had thrown in your cart along the way.  You leave all the items you aren’t purchasing on the table, and then one of the staff collects it and puts it all back for you.  I found myself grabbing products I already owned (to have for when they ran out), or products that were a great deal (just because they were a “great deal”).  It helped to have a place near the check out to slow down, think each product through, and determine if I really needed it, or if I was just impulse purchasing.  Here are some of the goodies I’m most excited about:loreal 6

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray– $4.00 (Regularly $15.00)

L’Oreal True Match Foundation-$6.50 (Regularly $18.00)

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick-$2.50 (Regularly $11.00)

L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow– $4.50 (Regularly $11.00)

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo-$3.75 (Regularly $9.00)

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara– $4.75 (Regularly $13.00)

Lancôme Color Design All-In-One 5 Shadow and Liner Palette- $14.75 (Regularly $54.00)

In total, I spent about 2 hours and less than one hundred dollars at the sale, and walked away with well over a $200.00 value in products (FYI: the max you are allowed to spend in one visit is $600.00).  It was a positive experience, and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to take advantage of it.  Just be prepared to wait in a few lineups along the way (some products are stored behind counters so you need to ask for what you want), and an even bigger lineup at the checkout (though they do have many cash registers so it moves fairly quickly).  Stay strong, buy only what you need, and have fun!

“Buy Less, Choose Well.” ~Vivienne Westwood

Buy This Not That: Mascara Guards!

LashesIf you’re anything like me, for a special night out you spend time perfectly blending your eye shadow and precisely lining your eyes, only to mess it all up when you apply your mascara.  Ugh! That brutal smudgy mess all over your beautiful masterpiece!  Enter mascara guards: a simple and effective way to ensure that your mascara stays on your lashes (and only your lashes!).lash card

For the longest time I simply used a piece of tissue to solve this annoying problem, until I was sent a package of “Lash Card Mascara Guards” in one of my monthly beauty subscription boxes.  I tested them out, and they did the job. I didn’t like however, the awkwardness of maneuvering such an oddly-sized piece of paper (which is really all it is) near my eyes, or the fact that you have to throw them out after just a few uses. Not to mention the $6.99 +tax price tag for just 10 disposable cards.  If you figure you’ll go through approximately one package a month, you’re looking at about $90.00 a year.  To some, this may be completely worth it, and these will definitely solve the problem at hand. But for those of you who don’t have this kind of money in your beauty budget, check out the comparable and much cheaper fix below!

While perusing through my current Avon book, I came across a handy tool (“Mascara Guard & Lash Comb”) that ultimately does the exact same things the Lash Cards do…plus more! This handy , multi-tasking plastic tool is reusable, washable, and is ridiculously inexpensive! At just $1.99 +tax, this solves the “need-to-constantly-repeat-purchase” challenge that the Lash Cards face.  It also allows you to comb out your lashes, so not only will you be smudge-free, you’ll be clump-free too! It’s ergonomically, economically, and eco friendly, and ensures your hard work and effort don’t go to waste. Combine this with your favourite mascara and you’re pretty much unstoppable!

“When it comes to mascara, my rule is to look for the blackest black–it’s the secret to making your eyes pop.” ~Bobbi Brown