Mascara

What I’ve Been Loving Lately…

It’s been a while since my last post, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the swing of things!  The products I’ve discovered these past few months are some of my all-time favourites, and I hope you’ll love them, too!

1. MantraBand “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly” Bracelet

I discovered MantraBand during a trip to the USA this past summer.  Being someone who loves motivational quotes, I was immediately intrigued by these bracelets, which are sleek and simple in design (available in silver, rose gold, or yellow gold), and adorn various fun, inspirational messages.  In particular, I was drawn to the saying, “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly“.  The MantraBand website describes this bracelet as a reminder to, “Remember to focus on one thing at a time and give it your all. Stay calm, look on the bright side, and keep going. Because it’s all about the journey, not the destination.”  I, like many others, often times find myself rushing to get things done, and I can easily forget to slow down and enjoy the process.  Naturally, I’m now hooked on these bracelets and have a handful of others on my wishlist: “Hakuna Matata“, “Ohana“, and “Que Sera Sera“, just to name a few!

2. L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve waited a long time for an affordable shampoo and conditioner that were specially formulated for oily roots, and guess what?  It’s finally arrived! L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Clay line is perfect for those who have hair the equivalent to “combination skin”: an oily scalp, with ends that could use some love.  These products use the power of various clays (white, blue, and green) to cleanse, moisturize, and revitalize the hair and scalp, leaving hair balanced for up to 72 hours!  The shampoo lathers beautifully and leaves your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed, and the conditioner is super moisturizing and lightweight.  Oh, and both products smell amazing.  Using the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed a difference in my hair within just two uses.  Next on my list to try is the Pre-Shampoo Clay Mask.

3. Benefit Cosmetics Dallas Box o’Powder Blush

I’d always heard great things about Benefit Cosmetic’s boxed blushes, but had never actually purchased or tried one for myself.  I decided it was time to hop on the bandwagon, and chose the shade “Dallas” (described as a rosy-bronze hue).  Trust me, the shade you see in the box does not do this product justice.  Once applied, it wears as a gorgeous, warm bronze that gives you a healthy glow, and is perfect for Fall.  You can even use it as a bronzer, or to contour, and it suits nearly every skin tone.

4. Quo Effortless Curl Mascara in “Black”

I’m someone who’s lucky enough to have long lashes naturally, but if I don’t use the right mascara, they just fall flat and can end up looking sparse.  I’m therefore always on the lookout for affordable options that give volume and hold curl.  I received this particular mascara in a gift bag from a Quo event, and was hooked after trying it just once.  The formula is glossy and super pigmented, the curved silicone brush adds curl, and it apples clump-free and lasts all day.  This mascara easily compares to high-end versions, and is just a fraction of the price. Definitely recommend!

5. Michael Kors Eau de Parfum in “Sexy Amber”

This is a perfume that has been on my wishlist for a long time, but due to it’s higher-than-average price tag, I always hesitated.  When Shoppers Drug Mart hosted their recent redeem your points event, I decided to finally take the plunge.  First off, this product is an Eau de Parfum, meaning a little bit goes a long way (making it a good value for money). It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with gold accents, and the signature Michael Kors logo.  The scent itself has notes of warm amber, sandalwood, and white flowers.  It’s warm and musky but still feminine, and it’s perfect for the colder months ahead.

6. Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar”

Surprise! Another warm, musky scent that I can’t get enough of.  Until it was recently discontinued, Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods” was always one of my favourites.  However their new scent, “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar” has now replaced it as my number one.  It has notes of almond creme, Bartlett pear, brown sugar, toasted hazelnut, silken vanilla, and decadent pistachio mousse (hungry yet?).  It’s a pretty, sexy scent, but is also subtle and not overpowering.  I pair the shower gel in the same scent with the Ultra Shea Body Cream for an extra scent boost.  Note to self: stock up on this before it’s gone!

What have you been loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Falsies in a tube?! Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

Chances are, if you wear mascara, you’re looking to enhance the something about your lashes.  Maybe you want more volume?  Perhaps you want more length? And, if you’re anything like me, you love the way false lashes check-off both of these wants, but hate the process and time it takes to apply them.  But what if you could apply your mascara and falsies, all at the same time?  Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ ($35.00 Cdn) allow you to do just that. In fact, they can increase your average lash volume by up to 400%!  This product comes with 2 tools of the trade: the first is a Transplanting Gel, and the second is a tube of Natural Fibers.  Simply apply a coat of the Transplanting Gel, followed by the Natural Fibers, and finish with one last coat of Transplanting Gel.  You can keep repeating the process as desired.  The result?  Kardashian-worthy lashes that will leave you saying, “I promise, they’re real!”.

You may have heard (or seen the incredible results on social media) of Younique’s previous Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, and are wondering, “what’s changed?”.  The answer is an enhanced formula, a new brush, and a chic update in packaging, all making this mascara more impressive than ever before.  As someone with sensitive skin and eyes, I also like that this product is hypoallergenic. So, after giving it a try, what do I think of this highly-coveted mascara?  Keep reading to find out!

My Results

No Mascara:

No Mascara (left) Vs. 3D Fiber Lashes+ (right):

3D Fiber Lashes+ on both eyes:

In sum, this product is impressive (even my boyfriend looked at my lashes and said, “Whoa!”).  It’s quick and easy to apply, lasts all day, and washes off easily at night.  There was some minor fallout of the fibers when applying, but I simply wiped them away with a fluffy brush.  I had no irritation or discomfort, and I like that you can apply additional coats for more drama: 1 coat of fibers for work, or 2 for a night on the town.  And, if you’re someone who already wears false lashes frequently, this product is a more affordable (and simpler!) way to get the look falsies provide.  I highly recommend giving this product a try.  Younique is so confident you’ll love their product, they even have a “Love It Guarantee”: if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can obtain a full refund within 14 days, an 80% refund within 15-30 days (or a credit/exchange), and a credit or exchange up to 31-90 days from delivery!  Ready to purchase? Just click here!

Have you tried Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Product provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

Review: Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser

Garnier

Aside from loving the feeling of a fresh, makeup-free face, one of the reasons I remove my makeup at night is because my eyes and skin are extremely sensitive (blemishes, dry spots, and eye irritations are not uncommon).  As many of you already know, finding the perfect cleanser or remover can be far from an easy task…until now, that is.  Enter Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser: a product that is extremely gentle, but impressively effective at dissolving all traces of makeup and impurities (including waterproof mascara!).  The formula is infused with the Moringa seed and plant extracts, and is fragrance, alcohol, dye, and oil free.  It is also dermatologist, allergy, and ophthalmologist tested, making it well-suited to sensitive skin.

I was given the opportunity* to test this product out, and was excited to see it work its magic.  The instructions state to apply the product directly to dry skin with your fingers and gently massage.  To remove, simply wipe away with a cotton pad, or rinse clean with water.  I first tested this product out on a day where I had on a full face of makeup (including waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and a lip stain).  Truthfully, I was a little skeptical that a lotion, especially an oil free one, would effectively be able to break down the long-wearing makeup formulas I had on that day. So, I applied as per the instructions on the bottle, gently massaging the lotion and focusing extra attention to my eye area.  I was especially excited when the “sting” in my eyes I normally get with other eye-makeup removers never came! I washed the product off with warm water, looked in the mirror, and my makeup was completely gone.  Even better, the product left my face feeling like I had just applied moisturizer: soft, calm, clean, and refreshed.  I also tried using this product with a cotton pad, as per the second recommended method, and found it worked just as well (see the picture below, where I removed waterproof liner and a lip stain from my hand).

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

Because this lotion works to remove not only makeup, but also the various impurities that collect on your skin, you are able to use it morning and night.  Additionally, you’ll continue to see and feel the benefits of using this product over time as you continue to use it (I did!).  I’m excited to have found this product, and consider it a permanent addition to my beauty regime.  I’d definitely recommend trying this product out…your skin (and eyes) will thank you (and don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below)!

*Product has been provided by Garnier Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Garnier Canada.

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WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day One

 

Photo Credit: Urbandecay.com

Photo Credit: Urbandecay.com 

Selfishly, I chose this product for day one of my gift guide because I’m just that excited about it.  Naked On The Run is the brand new (released today), limited-edition kit from Urban Decay, meant for the “Naked” lover on the go.  For those of you not already familiar with the highly-coveted Naked pallets, you can check out my previous post here.  This set comes with 6 eye shadows (all brand new shades), blush, bronzer, lip gloss (full size), eyeliner, and mascara.  Perfect for travelling or touch ups on the go, this set retails for $54.00 US and can be purchased as of today (November 20th) on the Urban Decay website, or at Sephora on December 1st.

 

 

Deal Alert! FLARE Beauty Box

FLARE Beauty Box

What I love about this Fall beauty box, is that it’s full of goodies you’ll actually use: including mascara, body wash, and (my favourite) dry shampoo.  For just $9.00 (shipping included), you’ll receive the following products (as seen on the FLARE Beauty Box website):

  • PANTENE PRO-V Blowout Extend Dry Shampoo (full size 140 g)
  • PANTENE PRO-V Ultimate 10 BB Crème (full size 151 mL)
  • COVERGIRL Clump Crusher by LashBlast™ mascara – Very Black (full size 13.1 mL)
  • OLAY Ultra Moisture Body Wash (travel size 50 mL)
  • OLAY Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Mini Jar (travel size 4.8 mL)
  • SPECIAL OFFER! CLAIROL Nice ‘N Easy Coupon, up to a maximum of $16.00, expires January 31, 2015

If you were to purchase just the first 3 items (the dry shampoo, BB Creme, and mascara), it would run you around $25.00 plus tax!

The products arrived beautifully wrapped, and were waiting at my doorstep within 2 weeks of ordering.  Grab your FLARE Beauty Box here before they’re gone!

Products I Regret Buying (and What You Should Buy Instead)

Products I Regret Buying

It’s happened to the best of us: we hop on the “hype” train when a new product comes out, only to discover it really wasn’t worth the trip in the first place. Bummer.  For drugstore products, you usually have to bite the bullet and pass them on to a friend (or a garbage can), and, so long as you’ve purchased those higher-priced items at Sephora, you’re in the good hands of a solid customer return policy.  The following are items I regret buying, as well as those I recommend you spend your hard-earned dollars on instead.

1. First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream $50.00

When purchasing this product, I’d already become a big fan of First Aid Beauty’s “Facial Radiance Polish” and “Daily Face Cream“, so I was disappointed to discover that this eye cream did nothing for me (especially at such a high price point).  It didn’t moisturize or calm my skin, (in fact, I actually had a reaction to it).  In it’s place, I’d recommend Jurlique’s “Herbal Recovery Eye Cream”, that gently hydrates and smells amazing.

2. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Remover $22.00

They’re Real Mascara is my an all-time favourite of mine (I posted about it previously here), and I was thrilled to discover that Benefit had come up with a solution to the sometimes-hard-to-remove holy-grail mascara.  I wanted so badly to love this product as much as I love the mascara, but sadly, all it did was burn and sting my eyes, and barely removed the mascara at all.  There are two products I’d recommend in this remover’s place: 1. Clinique’s “Wash-Away Gel Cleanser”, and 2. The Body Shop’s “Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover”.  Both of these remove makeup like a pro, and have been longtime favourites of mine.

3. Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush $15.99

To be fair, the idea behind this blush is adorable: “Infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress. The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply!” (Well.ca).  The packaging is cute, the colours in the mix are pretty, and the payoff is good, I just can’t say this blush made me any “happier” than others I own.  For drugstore makeup, it’s also on the higher-priced side, and I think there are others you can buy that will make you just as…happy.  For example, the Hard Candy boxed blushes I talked about here for a fraction of the price.

4. Essie Sleek Sticks Nail Appliques $12.99

It’s no secret that Essie is a front-runner in the nail polish industry, so I assumed their nail stickers would be equally as impressive.  Wrong.  The application was fast and easy, but within less than 24 hours of wear there were chips on almost all of my nails.  As I have many times before, I highly recommend purchasing the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.  These are the only strips I’ve found that live up to the “long-wear” claims (mine really do last upwards of 10 days).

What products do you regret buying?  Let me know in the comments below!    

Lash Out: A Mascara for Every Budget

Mascaras for Every Budget

Drugstore, department store, or speciality store, I’ve certainly tried my fair share of mascaras over the years.  In my opinion, mascara is a product that can really make your look: what’s a smoky eye without lush, voluminous lashes?  It’s also an integral part of my “3 step process” for when I don’t have enough time to apply a full face of makeup: 1. apply under-eye concealer, 2. curl lashes and apply mascara,  3. apply tinted lip balm.  Fun fact? Egyptians were the first people to use mascara, where both men and women darkened their lashes in an effort to protect their eyes from the desert sun, and ward off evil spirits (after all, the eyes are the window to one’s soul).  Luckily, the formulation and wear of mascara has changed quite a bit since then (honey, dung, and water were the Egyptian’s concoction), and I’ve put together a list of my top 3 modern-day favourites.  Whether you’re looking to spend a little or a “little-more”, any of the mascaras below are sure to cause bouts of lash-batting and selfie-taking. Ready?

1. Drugstore: L’Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara $10.00

I originally purchased this product as an impulse-buy at the L’Oreal private sale, and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be one of my all-time favourite mascaras.  The thin, comb-like brush separates and coats lashes without clumping, and the fragrance free/ophthalmologist-tested formula is suitable for sensitive eyes and washes off easily at the end of the day.  If you’re looking for extra length, and an extra-wallet friendly deal, definitely give this mascara a try.  Learn more about the L’Oreal Telescopic line here, and purchase it from stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Shoppers Drug Mart, or online at well.ca.

2. Department Store: Mac Zoom Lash Mascara $16.00

I’ve been a fan of Mac Cosmetics for a long time.  Their products are of professional quality, and there’s always a great mix of “fun” and practical goodies to try.  One of my go-to repurchases is their Zoom Lash Mascara, which has a fibre-wand that multiplies the look of lashes (while also elongating) and coats them in a shiny, gel-like formula.  One coat is enough, but you can definitely build coats for more drama without worrying about clumping or caking.  If you want lashes to look bolder and thicker, then allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.  Purchase it in-store, or on the Mac website here.

3. Speciality Store: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara $29.00

I can’t help but laugh whenever I wear this mascara and someone asks me if I’m sporting fake lashes; I’m sure Benefit would be happy to hear that the name they chose definitely holds true to their product! The perfect combination of separation, length. and volume make this product worth every penny.  For application, you’ll want to stop after 1 or 2 coats to avoid caking (you really won’t need any more).  If I’m looking to revitalize my lashes before going out at night, I’ll simply re-curl them instead of applying more product.  For removal, you’ll want to use some sort of eye makeup remover (soap and water aren’t enough to wash this beauty away).  If you’re thinking that $29.00 is too much for anyone to spend on a tube of mascara, you’re probably on the same boat that I was before I tried it.  My recommendation is to jump-ship, skip a few daily lattes, search your couch for spare change, and start saving for this holy-grail product.  You’ll thank me later.

 

 

 

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