Friday, January 30, 2015

6 Beauty Companies Worth Knowing!

6 Beauty Companies You Need to Try!

I am all about independent beauty companies.   Don't get me wrong, I shop at Sephora, the mecca of all beauty shops every chance I get.  I shop so much there I have achieved VIB Rouge status.  So if you know what VIB Rouge status is, then you know what's the minimum I spend every year! And that's just the minimum!  Shhh don't tell my husband!!!

However I have found myself in the last year favoring independent beauty companies because of their style and product selection that at times you can't find in a drug store.  Or their prices ranges that you won't find at Sephora or Holt Renfrew.  Since last year I have been testing out different independent beauty companies, I decided to put a list together of companies that sell makeup and/or makeup brushes that you might not have heard about but need to know about.  There are many more independent beauty companies out there for sure, however these that I found not only fit the bill in price tag but in value as well!

Blank Canvas Cosmetics

If you don't know who Blank Canvas Cosmetics (BCC) is by now, then that means you are not reading my blog!! I blog about this company at least once a month because of their amazing makeup brushes.  The truth is you could spend hundreds of dollars on just ONE makeup brush from many different companies or you can spend way under $200 for a 15-18 piece makeup brush set with shipping, taxes and all.  I own just about every makeup brush from this brand and have never been disappointed.  They carry quality synthetic and cruelty free animal hair brushes.  What makes it even better, is that they also offer great quality makeup (eye-shadows and blushes) for a great price in beautiful palettes.  You can even buy a great contouring and highlighting kit from this company.  The greatest bonus of all is that they are stationed out in Ireland with super low shipping rates! And if you know me, then you know I love anything Irish! This company is truly worth checking out! 

Dose of Colors

 Just the name itself screams "love me"!!  I love this company for their amazing quality lipsticks and lipglosses that they create.  Not only do they having nude shades which I gravitate to, but for those who actually like color and like to experiment with it, they offer a wide range of color selection.  Their lip products are long lasting, long wearing and are very pigmented.  Just one swipe leaves you with a beautiful dose of color on your lips.  They just released three new beautiful highlighters that range in colors from pink, peach and brown.  If you are also into lashes, they have some of the most amazing eyelashes you can spot a mile away! This company is really worth trying out if you want something new and affordable! 

Gerard Cosmetics (also known as Whitening Lightning) blew up on the scene when just about every famous youtuber sang their praises.  From last year till now, I have to say they have not only expanded their makeup line, but also their packaging.  GC first made their grand debut with their teeth whitener and lipglosses that have an internal light on the top and mirror on the back.  However their packaging was much to desire.  Nonetheless, last year their packaging transformed from looking like Dollar Tree makeup to me easily mistaken them now for my YSL or Chanel lipgloss.  Their new gold tone gorgeous packaging has truly sky rocketed them.  Moreover, they have also added a new line of lipsticks which many refer to as the "golden bullets" to their collection.  These have got to be one of the most pigmented and loveliest lipglosses I have ever used.  My favorite color from their lipgloss collection is Shimmer of Hope.  My God is it truly beautiful with its soft pink nude color.  I love wear this color every chance I get.  However if you are more of a color type of gal, they also offer an assortment of colors from deep purples down to straight black that will make any emo go gaga for their colors and textures. 

Makeup Geek

Makeup Geek is a company that was started by a Youtuber Marlena who turned her passion for makeup into a multimillion dollar company.  Moreover, the thing I love about this company is that they are so versatile that anyone who shops for makeup at a drugstore or at Bergdrof Goodman will surely find something here.  Being someone who shops at both types of stores, Makeup Geek has been able to capture the makeup industry by offering amazing eye shadows, eyeliners, blushes and makeup brushes at affordable prices with superb quality.  My first purchase from Makeup geek was their Vegas Lights palette and I have to say their eyeshadow pigmentation, blendablity and smoothness was literally comparable to my Chantecaille eyeshadow palette.  And if you know anything about Chantecaille prices and quality, well lets just say they are literally in the same category for me.   Makeup Geek offers eyeshadows for as low as $5.99 for their regular shadows and as high as $9.99 for their foiled shadows with the quality of a high end luxury brand look and feel.  If you never heard about this company, you need to stop reading here and click on their link and go check them out.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed! Are you still reading?!

I heard about ColourPop over the Christmas season from Youtube, of course!  I was really taken by their pigmented shimmery eyeshadows and literally how affordable they were.   But what really caught my attention was that these are powder eyeshadows in a cream type form.  I know its weird to explain but it literally blends and feels like cream though its powder.  What caught my attention even more was their color range.  They range from soft neutral colors all the way to electric blue.  Moreover, they offer some of the nicest "lippies" I have ever seen that are creamy and not drying at all.  They even offer a lovely lip primer for all your lippy needs.  All colourpop eyeshadows and lippies cost $5.00 each!  I kid you not!  Nothing in that store cost over $5.00 an item (with the exception of their foursome eyeshadows which are $20.00. Five dollars a shadow).  If you are into highly pigmented shimmery eyeshadows and their new matte shadows, then stop by their site and check them out!

Sigma Beauty is an all American company started by a veterinarian and her engineering husband.  This company has literally and I mean literally sky rocketed from working out of their basement to having a store in the Mall of America in only a few years.  They started out with makeup brushes and have expanded to eyeshadows, lipglosses and eyeliners.  They have also engineered new patent products to help with cleaning your makeup brushes.  They sold out in one day of their makeup brushes, after a Youtube guru mentioned them on her channel.  From there they have kept on growing at a fast rate each year. They have affordable prices with great quality makeup and makeup brushes in sleek packaging.  What makes them so awesome is how they revolutionized the makeup industry in regards to makeup brushes and their usage.  They use synthetic and real animal hair for their brushes with some of the most awesome quality I have ever seen.  You can buy from their online store, amazon or in person.  However they do have high shipping rates when it comes to their online store due to packaging.  So while their products are so worth it, you need to take that into account when shopping online.  Yet with all that being said, doesn't everything beautiful come with a price!?
So there you have it, six independent beauty companies worth checking out.  Let me know if there are any others I should try that are worth looking into!
keep Smiling!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

January's Spotlight Of The Month!

Living Proof Prime Style Extender - $25.00 CDN

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I believe hair speaks volumes about your health and personality.  I have always tried to get the best in haircare products that logic, proof and money can buy.  I have tried all high end and low end products and have many times been disappointed by their results.  Not because they didn't work, but because they all more or less had the same ingredients with just a different price tag.  I normally don't go for name brands or pricey ticketed items just cause.  I always do my research on ALL beauty products before buy them.  Or at least I take a sample and compare.   

According to a recently Youtube video that I saw from Paula's Choice staff members, they stated that Living Proof products actually have a new and advanced technology that actually works for your hair.  You see, just because a product is high priced doesn't mean it actually works or offers any more benefits than a normal drugstore brand.  So when I heard Living Proof actually had real ingredients in it to help your hair, I was floored.  It's been a while since I have heard of any haircare product offering actual results.

I heard about Living Proof when I received a free sample from Sephora for their Living Proof Prime Style Extender.  Its basically a product that works like a primer for your hair.  In case you aren't aware on how primers work; you can get them for your makeup in order to allow eyeshadow and/or foundation to last all day.  I use both and my makeup stays put for hours till I wash it off.  Hair primer works in the same manner.  It allows your hair to hold the style you created for the day without having to resort to using hairspray or mousse.  I personally don't like using those products because they leave your hair hard and contain way to much alcohol which can stripe your hair of moisture and dry it out.   

When I realized that this product could hold my hair style for the day without needing parabens, sulfates or phthalates I was sold.  What I also like about this product is its greaseless, non-weighted feeling on my hair.  I hate products that leave my hair feeling heavy and greasy after application.  I also like the fact that it has little to no residue when I wash my hair.  My hair always comes out clean and shiny after every wash. It also has a lovely but slight smell to it that doesn't linger on forever.     

I normally apply this product after washing and towel drying my hair.  I then let my hair air dry before applying heat.  I have noticed that my hair feels and looks smoother when I use this product.  I flat iron my hair every time after washing and I noticed how well this holds my style.  It also leaves my hair very shiny and looking healthy and strong.  I have tried this product both in cream and spray form and achieved the same result.   It really comes down to preference when using products on your hair.  While I love the feel of cream, sprays are quicker to apply.  However this cream was never sticky or tacky on my hands and was easy to clean up.  So I could use both forms with no problem.

I an interested in trying out their shampoo's and conditioners as well. However till that happens, I would highly recommend trying out this hair primer! Trust me you won't be disappointed! And if you are like me who has hair all the way down to their waste, any help I can get to keep it straight, shiny and strong without striping or drying it out is awesome!

Keep Smiling!


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Julep Hand & Nail Care Routine

Julep Best Hand & Nail Treatment

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Hands speak the world about you. They are able to give away your age, tell others if you suffer from a nervous tick, how often you get manicures and to a point what type of career you have.  My mother always told me to make sure my hands and nails were always in great shape when entering the workforce.  She believed that a professional should always have properly manicured nails in order to look their best.  I have always made sure that my nails were filed down to a proper length every week and that my nail polish was never too ostentatious.  My nails grow at an accelerated rate to the point where I have to cut them every week.  However, every time I have become pregnant, they start to break off at an accelerated rate as well.  Not to mention in the winter, my hands and nails take a massive hit with the cold.  

Last year in the summer I became a Julep Maven Member.  What I like about this program so much was my ability to be able to create and get great hand and nail care products at an affordable price all in one place.  Since I have been pregnant (literally) since 2009 (with all my (soon to be) four kids) my nails have taken a hit both on and off 'season'.  So I decided this winter to put together a hand and nail care routine in order to make sure that they make it through the winter and pregnancy in almost decent shape.  So far I have to say its working!

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment -  $14.00 / 18.00 US

This is one of the best nail treatments I have seen or tried in a while.  My nails are normally hard and sturdy.  However with pregnancy they become brittle, soft and break off easily.  I started using this product seriously two weeks ago and was amazed to see how my nails grew strong again with only one breakage.  I also realized that they no longer looked brittle, but shiny, smoother and the free edge (the white part) was very white and strong.  You are suppose to wear this nail treatment alone on clean nails with no other type of nail polish.  It leaves a nice soft pinky color on your nails.  It lasted me a whole week before needing to reapply.  When I cleaned it off with nail polish remover in order to re-apply again for the next week, there were no stains left behind on my nails.  I am honestly amazed at this nail treatment and what a simple week and two coats did to my nails. 

 Julep Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum - $22.40 / $28.00 US

My cuticles get very dry during the winter season to the point of scary looking.  I normally push back my cuticles and clean up around my nails to get rid of all dead and dry skin.  However, I noticed that wasn't enough to keep them looking pretty, soft and hydrated throughout this Arctic weather.  That was until I came across this mighty (and yes it is mighty) pen serum.  This stuff is amazing! First, it comes in the form of click pen which dispenses the right amount of product for your nails.  It also contains peptides, green tea, fruit extract and other ingredients to help promote nail growth.  I comes out as a clear liquid with no smell and does not leave behind a sticky or tacky feeling.  It drys under 60 seconds with no residue.  I put this on at nights right before bed in order to allow the product to sink in without being wiped off from constantly using my hands all day long.  This is like my new holy grail product for cuticles.  

Julep Brilliance Glycolic Scrub - $23.00 / $26.00 US

I have never tried a hand scrub that contained Glycolic acid in it.  I have tried Glycolic acid before on my face (AHA) and have always achieved amazing results. However I never thought about trying it on hands, till now.  In the winter my hands tend to get dry and scaly.  I started using this product months back every night in order to wake up to glowy, youthful, radiant hands every morning.  This stuff is just awesome.  Every night before bed, I wet my hands a bit and rub this scrub all over my hands, nails, cuticles and knuckles.  This really does away with the flaky and dry skin over night!  This product contains Glycolic acid to help reveal younger skin and get rid of dark spots, diminish the looks of wrinkles on your hands and smooth out the skin.  However do note, if you are using this product which contains AHA, you need to use SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection.  Glycolic acid causes your skin to become extremely sensitive to the sun.  In order to avoid a sunburn or have your hands look worse than before, ALWAYS use sunscreen on your hands during the daylight when using a product of this type.  


Julep Luxe Care Hand Creme - $20.00 / $16.00 US

After using the Julep Brilliance Glycolic Scrub on my hands I always follow up with Julep's Luxe Hand Creme.  This hand creme is ultra rich and moisturizing.  Literally a little goes a long way.  This hand creme contains Power Cell Complex, Rosehip seed oil, Malvaceae lipid extract, and Green Coffee bean oil to name a few.  I use this every night after my hand scrub and go straight to bed.  This literally leaves my hands feeling like silk every morning.  I have never tried a hand cream so rich that literally left me speechless with such great results.  I really wish they would make something similar to this for the body.
Julep Beauty Inc.

If you are interested in becoming a Julep Maven Member then click on the picture box above to get your first box FREE!  You only pay $3.99 for shipping when using the code "HOORAY".  This membership is available to all US and Canadian customers.  You can cancel your membership at anytime without penalties.

Once you become a Julep Maven Member, you get a customize box that you design!  If for some reason you are not feeling the box of the month or nothing you want to change it up with, you can always skip that month without having to cancel your membership or pay a thing!

So if you want to try all these great products for Julep for a great discount, then look into their membership! 

So there you have it, my hands and nails care routine.  Let me know what other products you have tried for your hands that have worked wonders for you!

Keep Smiling!


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Best Lip Balms

Best Lip Balms

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Lip balms are awesome. Not only do they work as chapsticks, but some actually offer a hint of color and totally moisturize your lips in a pretty tube. I have tried just about every lip balm out there and truly just love them! Next to lipgloss they are my go to products for my lips. Especially with this winter where my lips have been hit hard to the point of actually cracking and peeling which has NEVER happened to me before. And no matter how much lip balm I applied it wasn't able to stop the dryness. It did however help to alleviate the pain and the recovery time.

So I decide to narrow done the best lips balms that I have tried so far that have given me good proven results and that I love using the most.  They range from fairly inexpensive to just plain out there in price.  But hey when it comes to the wellness and health of your lips, can you really put a price tag on those smoochers of yours?!

Nivea Lip Butter - $2.41US - $3.20 US

I bought these on a whim when my current lip balm ran out.  I didn't know what to expect as they looked so delicious in their tins but the taste was a concern for me.  However after one try I was in love.  They go on very creamy on the lips, not tacky or sticky at all and they don't travel all over the place or bleed.  I have only tried the raspberry Rose Kiss and the Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss flavors and just love them.  They are fairly inexpensive, can be bought at just about any drugstore or ordered online from Amazon.  I keep one in my purse and makeup draw at all times.

I just love this product and not only because of its texture and smoothness on the lips, but because it actually contains SPF 30 which is seriously lacking in many lip products now-a-days.  When I step outside, I ALWAYS wear sunscreen SPF 60 UVA/UVB protection on my face.  No matter the weather, in daylight you won't catch me without sunscreen on.  With that same thought in mind, I also protect my lips.  Many people don't understand that you can still get lip cancer when exposed to sunlight.  This lip balm comes in two flavors but I would only recommend the Acai one because the other one contains mint which is a serious irritant to lips.  So if you are serious about protection your lips, then this lip balm is for you.

Dior Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm - $29.00 CDN

Nothing says luxury like Dior. The first time I heard of this product was from Youtube were all the beauty vloggers were raving about it. So I decided to jump on Sephora online and buy it. However when I realized that it cost shy of $30, I turned the computer off and went to bed. However I had this nagging feeling that I really needed to try this. So after a month of having this sitting in my checkout cart on Sephora I decided to buy it. When it arrived three days later, I used it right away. I first noticed it had a waxy film at the top that you had to breakaway in order to get to the creamy part of the balm. But once you did, it was amazing on the lips. It was so soft and creamy. Was not tacky or sticky at all and had a lovely slight smell to it. I really like this balm, due to how it does hydrate the lips. However I don't use it often because of the price tag. So while yes it is crazy expensive for a simple balm, nonetheless it offers great moisturize to the lips.

When Bite Beauty hit Sephora, the first thing I heard about them was their Agave Lip Mask.  I was taken with the fact that this lip balm not only worked as a lip balm but also as a lip mask to help heal cracked dried lips.  I read many reviews on this product and realized that you generally use it at nights right before bed to allow the product to work its magic.  I noticed that when applied at nights, it lasted all throughout my sleep and never transferred, bled or stained my pillows.  I bought this in the color champagne the same day it was released in Sephora.  It gives you the slightest tint to your lips without coloring them fully.  It is also made of all natural ingredients which are safe to ingest especially for someone like me who is currently six months pregnant.  I love using this lip mask at night and the great results it gives me!

Sephora Collection Color Reveal Lip Balm - $16.00

I found this lip balm all by accident. It was on sale at Sephora during the holiday season and I became curious to try it out.  It stated that when applied to your lips, it gives you a slight tint to your lips according to your own lip color.  I saw some before and after pictures, so I decided to try it.  I noticed that once applied to your lips within seconds it gave me a nice pinkish tints to my lips that looked natural.  I also noticed that it really moisturized my lips and left the nicest feeling and lovely sheen.  It last for a good two to three hours on my lips before wearing off.  However the color lasted all the way until I brushed my teeth again at night.  Really worth trying if you are looking to add some color to your lips without using lipstick or lipgloss.

I first got this product with one of my Julep Maven boxes last year.  I loved the fact that it came with a cool metal tip applicator which helped to smooth it on your lips with ease.  This lip balm also has a lovely smell of Shea Butter to it which I love.  I have this on my bathroom counter and wear it in the mornings right after washing my face.   It helps to keep them moisturized while I am getting ready for the day and applying my makeup.  It last for a while on my lips and really love the cooling sensation I get every time I use it!  If you are a Julep Maven member you can buy it for $19.20 US. 

The first time I tried this lip treatment was when I received it in a generous sample size.  I have used Fresh lip treatments before and just loved on some how it contains SPF in their formula.  I love keeping this in my purse because its small and has a twist top which keeps it from coming off and getting messed up.  It has no real smell to it and really works great on my dry lips during the winter season.  

So there you have it, my favorite lip balms to help beat this cold winter and relief dry chapped lips to reveal beautiful moisturized kissable lips! Do you have any favorites I should try?

Keep Smiling


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Must Have Makeup Brushes For The Eyes!

Blank Canvas Must Have Eye Brushes!

By now you all know about my Blank Canvas Cosmetics (BCC) obsession and their makeup brushes.   So no need to repeat it here, unless you really want to hear it then click here!! Since the New Year has arrived, I decided to write about my must have 2015 makeup brushes for the eyes that we all need in our collection in order to achieve that perfect look.
I get asked all the time what type of eye brushes one should have when starting out. I think eye brushes are important because it took me years to figure out why my eye makeup never looked professional. It wasn't until I educated myself that I realized that one makeup brush can't do it all. However with that being said you don't need 50 eye brushes either to achieve a nice look. So, I decided to narrow down the list to these eight brushes that I believe to be essential and useful for any makeup collection! What I love about these brushes and BCC is that they are very affordable and the price ranges from as low as $9.00 to the highest of $14 for the brushes mentioned below!

Now as I always state in all my post, you don't have to buy these type of brushes just from BCC. However if you are looking for good quality brushes, at affordable prices with amazing shipping rates, then this company is surely for you!!

The E24 Flat Shader/Lay Down Brush is prefect for picking up and applying product to your eyelid.  Its made from soft natural goat hair so it's fluffy and firm at the same time which help for packing on the eyeshadow.  It's easy to clean and always come back white after each wash.  I have never had any shedding issue with this brush.

The F05 Fan Brush is a face brush, yes I know.  However it works great to sweep away fallout from your eyeshadow as it falls on your face and underneath your eye area.  This brush works great to leave no track of eyeshadow on your face and sweep it away gently without messing up your concealer or foundation.  I love this brush and use it when applying dark eyeshadow.  Makes clean up easy and fast! 

The E44 Flat Brush is a must!  I literally sang it's praise when this brush came out!  I was finally able to apply eyeliner underneath my eye in a straight line close the waterline with no problem.  I love how this brush works so well by gently pressing in the cream or powder eyeliner without smudging or leaving behind streaks!  This brush also works well to clean up your eyeshadow if you went to far out from the corner of your eye.  It cleans it up in one swipe leaving behind a nice cut angle on your eye.  This brush is made from synthetic fibers so it works well with cream and powdered products. 

The E39 Bent Eyeliner Brush is a must have!!  Let's be honest I can barely draw a straight line to save my life.  Yet with this brush I am able to work in my eyeliner both on top and bottom of my lashes with ease.  It really works to not get caught in between my lashes and can be used in either hand with no problem.  It works amazing to draw a cat eye with your cream eyeliner. The brush is made of synthetic fibers so I literally clean it with a baby wipe between usage until the end of the week when I give it a deep cleaning!  Either way it always comes out clean and ready for another day. 

The E32 Tapered Crease Blender Brush is prefect for seamless blending of your eyeshadow along the lid and crease.  Its made from all natural high grade goat hair so its very soft.  I love this brush because it blends in my makeup so well in my crease that it leaves behind no harsh lines.  Though this brush is very soft, yet has the ability to really work in your eyeshadow with simple strokes.  I literally use and abuse this brush to the point that I own two just in case the first one ever fails on me! I don't know how my eye makeup ever got around without it.

 The E10 Small Socket Blender Brush is hands down my favorite brush!  We all have eye sockets and ever single person who uses transitional eyeshadow colors knows how important it is to get that color on the socket just right.  This brush literally fits right in the socket of the eye with ease and doesn't allow the eyeshadow to get all over the place.  It also helps to blend the color in and leave no harsh line behind.  I always follow up with my E32 Tapered Crease Blender Brush for better blending.  Nonetheless when in a hurry, this brush will help in the blending department.   

The E26 Blending Brush is prefect for blending in your eyeshadow on your lid.  Since a lot of us wear two to three different shades on our lids to get a multi-dimensional look, this brush helps to blend it all in order to get a seamless no harsh line effect.  This brush is made of natural goat hair that is ever so soft and easy to clean.  My eyeshadow no matter how dark has never stained this brush though the hairs are white.  I have never had any shedding issues and it dries really fast after a deep clean.

The E23 Pencil Brush is so versatile that I can't begin to describe it.  You can use to apply shadow in your crease for a precise placement.  You can use it to apply shadow to the inner corner of your eye, the outer edges of your eye, to the lash line on the lower eyelid, to smudge in eyeliner or to add shadow in that same area.  I love this brush.  If I could own 100 of these I would.  Well maybe not...but you get my obsession.

So there you have it, my must have in makeup brushes for the eyes!  If you think I missed one or some then let me know.  However I think I covered just about all the essential brushes one needs for everyday use!

Keep Smiling!


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Friday, January 16, 2015

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Graphite (Smokey)*AjmQvezs&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=nu*AjmQvezs&affid=nu.AjmQvezs-zqImVuiUhdM2WqfgNcmA2Q

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Graphite - $58 US / $67 CDN

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So lately I have been on an Hourglass high.  I mean come on, can you blame me?!  Have you seen their cosmetic line? It's incredible! And with that, so is the price!! Eh!!  But if you can get past that, trust me you will truly appreciate that the majority of their products are really worth your time, money and face!

Back in November 2014 I saw that Hourglass had release a new line of eyeshadow palettes that were ONLY being sold at Barney's NY.  At that point in time they had only released the Infinity palette and others were to come.  I was quite disappointed that Sephora did not have these items in store or online.  I was very tempted to order from Barney's when I heard that it would be coming to Sephora in the New Year.  And being a loyal and I mean loyal Sephora VIB Rouge member (where I won't buy a single thing anywhere else if Sephora sells it) I decided to sit on my hands and mouse and wait.  When January rolled around, one night Youtubing I came across Wayne Goss stating that Sephora had released the palettes on January 11, 2014 online to VIB Rouge members ONLY.  So of course I jumped at the chance.  I noticed not only did they have the palette online and still available, but there were a total of seven of them!  

I started looking at each color palette and realized just how beautiful they truly were.  Furthermore, Hourglass is the first company to make palettes where their eyeshadow colors were not stuck in pan like circles or squares.  Instead these palettes literally represented a work of art.  A picture canvas where each color flowed seamlessly and effortlessly into each other.  I was actually taken by the beauty of these palettes and their "modernist" design which is something I have never seen in a makeup palette...ever.*AjmQvezs&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=nu*AjmQvezs&affid=nu.AjmQvezs-zqImVuiUhdM2WqfgNcmA2Q&skuId=1621150

As I explored their seven range color palettes, I did notice one thing.  A lot of their colors looked very much alike in each palette.  That really threw me off as I was excepting a different range and variation of color amongst each palette.  And while I can't deny the colors are stunning and beautiful, I just couldn't see myself buying more than one palette or a single palette that carried very generic earth tone colors.  That is until I saw the Graphite palette.  One look at this palette and I was left speechless!  I normally buy very earth tone/nude palettes and hardly venture out into colors.  However while there was no denying that this palette was a nude/earth tone palette, nonetheless it had a pop of two colors that I didn't seen in the other palettes.  First that splash of brown gold was just beautiful and then their blue/grey/teal color was exquisite.  I realized this was a smokey eye palette right away and bought it.

 Reading online I realized that some people had a number of complaints about these palettes.  Some said that it had a lot of fallout, others that it didn't blend well and yet others just didn't like the shade range.  I'll be honest, does it have a bit of fallout? Yes, yes it does.  I can't and won't lie about that.  However because these eye shadows are very powdery, you don't actually need to rub your makeup brush hard in order to pick up color.  A slight tap will pick up more than enough color for your eyes.  I also noticed that the matte eyeshadows had the most fallout while the shimmer shadows had little to none.  With my shimmer shadows I experienced literally no fallout!

 Are the colors not that pigmented? Yes its true some are not.  However the majority of these shadows are matte and normally matte shadows, while they can be pigmented are not very vibrant compared to shimmery shadows.  Also, a lot of these colors are the same per palette so you will have this pigmentation issues on the same color (or almost same colored) shadows.

Do they have issues in blending? That depends.  It depends on how much product you put on your eye and what type of brushes you are looking to blend them in with.  I found that while they weren't the easiest to blend, however I have handled a lot worse.  So this was really not a big deal.  Moreover all the colors in each palette are made to blend with each other (color wise) with no problem.  So for me, it wasn't something I couldn't tackle and it blended well into my eyes.*AjmQvezs&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=nu*AjmQvezs&affid=nu.AjmQvezs-zqImVuiUhdM2WqfgNcmA2Q&skuId=1621150

The main ones in my opinion that have a vast difference in colors are the Graphite palette and the Olive palette (show above).  Both these palettes have a mixture of shimmer and matte shades with different colors that are not found in the other Hourglass Modernist palettes.  I honestly prefer these two palettes and can't wait to buy the Olive one.  I like the fact that these two palettes have three different shades in each palette that are not similar to the other five palettes and allow you to make different looks.

The ONLY issues I have with this palette is the price in comparative to the size. Both the Ambient Lighting powder and blush palette retail for $58 US  and $67 CDN.  However they are both the same size.  Nonetheless this palette is significantly smaller than those two palettes and it retails for the same exact price.  Now don't get me wrong, I didn't expect these eyeshadow palettes to come in the same quantity of the other two palettes.  That would just be overkill in the amount of product these palettes would have.  However for the fact that it is a much smaller size I would of excepted the price to be at least $10-$15 difference in reduction and its not.  

I truly love these palettes and would recommend them to anyone who is not heavy handed, willing to blend and understand the difference with pigmentation amongst shimmer and matte! While yes the price tag is high, but isn't everything that looks like a work of art?!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette*AjmQvezs&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=nu*AjmQvezs&affid=nu.AjmQvezs-VuWpdWFdTXqjpvOfMnkkjg

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is a limited edition palette containing three Hourglass blushes.  Two of these blushes are part of their previous permanent collection and one is a brand new shade.  This palette came out in October 2014 and constantly sold out online on Sephora.   The three shades you will find in this palette (from left to right) are Luminous Flush (a champagne rose blush infused with Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light), Incandescent Electra, (a peach blush infused with Ambient Lighting Powder in Incandescent Light) and Mood Exposure (a plum blush infused with Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light).*AjmQvezs&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=nu*AjmQvezs&affid=nu.AjmQvezs-VuWpdWFdTXqjpvOfMnkkjg

The blushes come in a small gold like case.  The blushes are much smaller then their normal single size blushes.  So don't except three large blushes in this palette or you will be disappointed when comparing them to their normal size.  The casing is very beautiful, but its prone to smudging with fingerprints.  And if dropped, I can truly see these blushes breaking which has been noted by a lot of users who have had this misfortune happen to them.  I would not recommend this palette for traveling purposes due to this reason. Hourglass has also noted at the back of the palette the word "fragile".  So handle with care.  

All three blushes are amazing for application and blending.  They are highly pigmented and a little truly does go a long way.  If you dip your brush to hard into these blushes or pick up way to much powder, you will notice it with one swipe on your face.  It will give you clown like makeup if you are to heavy handed.  However, if you apply lightly, you will get the most beautiful blush application on your cheeks.  Due to it being infused with their Ambient Lighting Powder, it helps to not make pores look enlarged, does not leave behind a shiny or oily finish and truly works to give you a beautiful flush glow.  You can get at least 8-9 hours of wear with these blushes and probably more if worn with face primer.  I found that each blush is very appropriate to wear for either day or night.  These blushes had very little to no fallout and applied very smoothly and blended well on the skin. 

I was concerned that Incandescent Electra (the middle shade) would appear to peachy on my skin.  However I noticed this was not the case at all.  It appeared more of a coral color that wasn't to over the top and with the Ambient Lighting Powder infused it just looked marvelous.  Luminous Flush (the left shade) was a beautiful champagne rose color that looked very natural on the skin.  Mood Exposure (the right shade) was a very plumly color that if applied to heavily can look to dark on lighter skin.  However it leaves you such a nice plumy glow that blended beautifully with my bronzer when applied lightly.  So go easy with this color.  These colors are very versatile and can work with just about any skin tone.

Nonetheless, I will say this.  No two blush palettes are alike.  Even the website states this as well.  Moreover since these blushes are infused with Ambient lighting powder, you will end up getting a different mixture of color in each blush palette. As you can see from the two pictures above, some have more Ambient Lighting Powder then blush, while others have more blush then the lighting palette.  I would advise you buy these in person and take a look at the palette before heading to the purchase counter.  I have heard some reviews of people who were disappointed because the blushes did not apply correctly due it being more lighting powder then blush color. I took a chance and bought mine online.  However it was risky based on warnings of many.

Besides this small draw back, I would for sure recommend this palette if you are looking to try out new blushes but don't want a draw full of them.  They are pricey but truly some of the most beautiful blushes I have ever tried!

Keep Smiling!


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette*AjmQvezs&utm_source=ls&utm_medium=affiliate&Medium=Affiliate

Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette - $49.00 US

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I love just about anything Too Faced. I have the original Chocolate bar palette and literally reach for it almost all the time. (Click here for that review). The original chocolate bar not only smells like chocolate but looks like a candy bar as well from the outside.  So when the Semi Sweet palette came out, I was happy to see that it had the same design and lovely chocolate smell to it!
When Too Faced came out with their Semi sweet chocolate bar palette I thought it was for sure going to be better than the first.  However upon examining the colors online, I was hesitant at first because of the cool and warm tone shades found all over the palette.  As you can see from the pictures below, the palette seems to have some identity crisis going on where it can't decide if it wants to be either cool or warm tone!  The palette contains 16 shades with eight being shimmery and the rest being matte.  The palette also contains a black shade called Licorice which the original Too Faced Chocolate palette lacked.  Moreover, a lot of the brown colors almost seem identical to each other and other colors just didn't seem to fit.

Especially that blueberry swirl color which seemed to stand out in the middle of the palette like a sore thumb. I literally could not get over it and really had no idea why it was there amongst the other more warm tone colors.  However, after watching a few Youtube videos on this palette, I was determined to give it a try.  So after about two weeks of thinking it over, I finally ordered it online.  I was pretty scared after I hit the order button to be honest as I had no idea what to except nor how I was going to be able to make a cool/warm tone palette work together!  However not to sound like Yoda, "but determined I was!"

When it arrived to my house, I unpacked it right away and went to work to create a blue eyeshadow look that didn't look like circa 1970's Studio 54.  My greatest concern was that  my eyeshadow would warp me back in time with that blue color.  However I played with the color wheel and planned the look out. I use Rum Raisin on the crease of the eye, Peanut Butter on top of the crease, Licorice on the lid of the eye as a base for the blue color,  Blueberry Swirl on the lid for the main color and Hot Fudge on the outer corner of the eye. I used Pink Sugar for the inner part of the eye and Coconut Creme to highlight my brow bone.

The color range of these shadows are awesome as it gives you the ability to work with many different colors and create many warm or cool tone looks which can be found in one palette. The shadows blended well on the eye with a bit of fallout which wasn't the end of the world. However the pigmentation needs help and I mean serious help. While it does appear on the eye, its nothing compared to the original palette.  I noticed when I wet my brush the colors come out more vibrant. Yet when I don't wet my brush, I have to pack on more color then normal to simply get it to show up to a point where I am comfortable with it.  the Blueberry Swirl color; I first wore it on one of my eye's without the black base color and it barely popped.  It looked dull.  I had to wet my brush to get it to appear and shine.  However when I wore it with the black base underneath on my second eye (so I could compare) it appeared nicely but still dull and a wet brush was also needed.  Moreover some colors like Pink Sugar; while its a beautiful beautiful color, works better as a highlighter in the corner of the eye and not as an overall shadow as it will not appear no matter if you wet your brush or not.  I also noticed other youtubers having to wear a base color underneath in order to get the blue color to pop.  Some used a color pencil (blue) on their lid and then layered the shadow in order to help the color appear more vibrant.

I would recommend that Too Faced work on the pigmentation of this palette in order to bring it up to par with their original Chocolate Bar Palette.  While not all the colors need help, but a vast majority due.  So if you don't have an issue with having to wet your brush on some colors, then this palette will truly make you happy.  If you do, then stick with the original chocolate bar palette or wet your brush.  Outside that, not much more you can ask for when pigmentation is in need of help. 

Yet with all that being said, I would still recommend this palette due it its ability to make many different looks that can be truly stunning and worthwhile as long as you are willing to put the time in to making them work!

Keep Smiling!


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Poppy Austin Revitalizing Eye Cream Review

Poppy Austin Revitalizing Eye Cream - $22.50 US

I received this product as part of an advertorial. 

Poppy Austin is a company I have fallen in love with over the last year!  They make great products that not only work but are sensible and safe for the skin. So far with the exception of one ingredient that they used in one of their products, I don't have a single complaint about the company.  

The eyes, hands and neck are the first thing to reveal your age as we get older.  So its important that you always use properly formulated products that will make a difference in those areas.  I normally use retinol around my eyes, however being pregnant its a 'no no'.  So instead I have to pick other products that are just as effective without potentially harming the baby.

When I saw that Poppy Austin came out with an eye cream I was so psyched to try it.  However when I realized that I was going to have the chance to review it as well, I was totally over the moon.  This product contains "organic Aloe, organic Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Rosehip Oil, Green Tea, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Tamanu Oil" to name a few.  It also lacks all the silly fillers, alochol and other ingredients that are harmful to the skin!

I started using this around my eye area four weeks ago and I have to say I am amazed at the results.  It has helped greatly with puffiness, tackling my very fine lines and wrinkles and seriously hydrating my eye area.  I was amazing when one day I touched my eye and realized just how awesome it felt!  It felt literally like fine silk I kid you not.  I couldn't stop touching my eyes and get over how soft my skin felt. I love the fact that it has NO smell to it which is great. Fragrances in skincare products are actually harmful to the skin and break down collagen.  Moreover fragrances around the eyes are a serious potential irritant.   So its important to me that all my skincare products be fragrance free. 

 Now in regards to dark circles there was no help there are dark circles are genetic and no eye cream can help with that.  That is a proven medical fact that in order to get rid of dark circles only plastic surgery works in that area.  However lack of sleep and dehydrating helps to make them look worse.  So while this did nothing to help with my dark circles, however it did hydrate the skin well enough on days I was lacking on sleep so it didn't look any worse. So that was truly a bonus for me! Any help in the dark circle area works for me.  

Another bonus is that this eye cream isn't your normal small size bottle.  While it isn't large, however for the price you get a decent amount.  I hate buying eye cream that comes in a tiny jar and paying a lot for hardly nothing.  Moreover this eye cream comes in an air tight and light protected pump bottle.  So the integrity of the product remains stable and doesn't lose it value since no air or light gets into it.  I personally NEVER use a cream product form of any kind that comes in a jar.  Reason is with its constant exposure to light and air (not to mention bacteria from your hands) it breaks down and destabilizes the ingredients.  So I appreciate that Poppy Austin understands not only about using quality ingredients but how to protect them when it comes to packaging.

I would totally recommend this product if you can't or don't want to use a retinol product and are in the market for a good eye cream.  

Keep Smiling!


FTC: While I received this product for review, I was not paid for my post and all opinions are solely my own. 

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