Thursday, June 25, 2015

Best Brushes for Contouring for Beginners, Intermediate and Advance!

Best Brushes to Contour With!

I like to contour as much as the next guy (girl).  Contouring allows you to drop five pounds on your face, crave out your cheek bones, hide a double chin and leave you with a beautiful bronzy looking effect. However with that being said, using the wrong tools and bronzer shade can leaving you with a muddy or seriously burnt looking face.  Part of understanding contouring, is understanding the shape of your face.  Once you figure out what face shape you were naturally born with, you can then contour to your hearts desire.  

I have written before on the art of contouring and the makeup products needed to achieve this effect.  However, it takes more then just makeup to get a nice crisp bronzy look.  Makeup brushes are the number one items needed that will either make or break your look.  The biggest problems with makeup brushes is that the beauty industry has been inundated by them, that it is very easy to get lost in a sea of bristles.  Moreover some companies have so many brushes that a girl doesn't know which ones are appropriate to use based on skill levels.  So today, I am going to break it down for you, on what type of makeup brushes are useful depending on where your makeup "education" lies!

Brushes by Skill Level

When I first started out with makeup, I had NO clue what I was doing.  I remember getting a compact that had a blush, bronzer and highlighter, and rubbing the highlighter all over my face because I thought it was just another pretty face powder.  Well needless to say, I looked like a disco ball all day long.  To make matters worse, I applied it with a big round face powder brush that left highlighter on face, hair and neck.  It was just a royal mess.  But hey, at least bikers were able to see me that night when I went for a walk with the dog!  Thank God for Youtube where I was able to evolve and learn where to properly apply highlighter and with what brush.

When it comes to contouring, it isn't something you learn overnight.  It takes a lot of trial and error before you prefect the art.  Moreover, for beginners picking the right brush is everything.


For beginners, the best brush to start out with is a small and short duo fibre brush.  This small brush allows you to pick up minimal bronzer in order to avoid over doing it while you learn to contour.  Remember, its always easier to place more product on your face then it is to take off.  Applying a little at a time lets you see your progress and how well your contouring is turning out.  Due to the small head of this brush, the bristles fit right into the hollow of the cheeks giving you fool proof lines.  It also allows you to get into the outer hairline of your forehead without applying bronzer right into your hair.  This brush also helps to contour underneath your chin without getting it all over the place. What I like about duo fibre brushes; due to their long bristle head, they work amazingly to blend out your contour and make it seem flawless.  This brush is truly awesome for beginners who need to start out slowly and see their progress drawing lines as they move along.  


One thing I love about large tapered contour/powder brushes is their ability to place color right on the contour lines of your face.  They also work well to apply bronzer and blush to your cheeks.  Since tapered contour brushes are shaped with a dome pointed head, the bristles work wonders to apply makeup only in the areas intended. Furthermore, the pointed head leaves behind a beautiful wash of color in the places meant for contouring without making a harsh line.  The dome head also works to blend out the color while keeping it within the bounds of your contour lines.  I found that this brush works amazing when contouring the cheeks and jawbone.  Since our jaw runs along the rim of our lower face and mouth, at times a more fuller brush can deposit color to the lower cheeks leaving you with a muddy look.  A large tapered brush helps to minimize this issue by depositing color ONLY where needed.  The pointed head is great for those who have an intermediate level of bronzing and can contour and blend at the same time without getting bronzer in all the wrong places.  


BCC F30 Sculpt Brush

When I finally learned how to contour with precision, I decided to play with the big boys of makeup brushes.  A sculpting brush; while can seem intimidating, when used correctly can leave you with nice precision lines on your cheek bones and jawline.  It works great to contour your forehead and temples.  Since the brush is made to be narrow and rectangular, it literally gets into the hollow of your cheeks with no problem.  The only issue with this brush is that if you lack the skills on how to contour, this brush will leave with the harshest line that a 737 plane can land on from up far.  Moreover, you need to know how to blend well in order to use this brush.  If not, your lines will stand out and look extremely unnatural.  Its best to play with this brush at home before testing it out in public.  I would only recommend this brush once you have mastered the art of contouring and are not intimidated by its usual shape.

BCC F21 Angled Contour Face Brush

Out of all the brushes, the one that has always stood out to me that can be used at any level is an Angled Contour Face Brush.  These brushes are made with kabuki bristles that are cut to an angular shape.  This brush works amazing to contour the whole face.  Moreover, since this brush is user friendly, it can contour, blend and buff your makeup all in one.  I find this brush to be the most versatile of them all and so user friendly.  This brush works great in the hands of beginners to expert level makeup lovers.  

So there you have it, the best type of makeup brushes to use from beginner level to advance for those who are looking to learning to contour or already have the art down packed.  Moreover, one of the best places to find all these brushes at is Blank Canvas Cosmetics.  Not just for their affordable prices and great quality, but because these brushes are truly professional makeup brushes that can afford you the best contour money can buy.  However, when it comes to learning the skill....Youtube baby! That's where we all go to learn the art!!

Keep Smiling!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick - $28.00 CDN

I love Too Faced!  Even more, I totally love their eyeshadow palettes! I love them so much that I own a few of them, especially their Chocolate Bar Palette series.  I swear they need to come out with a third one this year!  Too Faced makeup is so amazing that I would literally own just about every product if I could.  So when they came out with these liquid lipsticks I knew I had to have them.  

I looked through all the colors when they were released on Sephora.  While the range of colors were awesome, however I normally stick within the pink and nude shades.  So I ordered the Melted Peony color based on the swatches that a Youtuber demonstrated.  I was so excited to try it out that I spend the next three days watching all sorts of Youtube videos on these liquid lipsticks! 

These liquid lipsticks are all matte.  While they do not come across dull, but they do lack shine and sparkle.  So if you are looking for that, then these are not for you.  These mattes are vibrant without the disco ball effect.  Another great thing about these liquid lipsticks is that when they start to wear off, you are not left with that ugly lipstick ring around stain.  You know, where its still visible on the outer portion of your lips but completely gone in the middle.  Another great thing is their sponge applicator.  I love this fact because liquid lipstick is very slippery, so having a sponge tip applicator helps to keep the color on target as you spread it around your lips for a smooth and polished finish without all the mess. 

When my Too Faced Melt Peony finally arrived, I broke open the box like it was going out of style! I applied the lipstick and let it set in! I love how beautiful the color was. It was a pretty muted pink that was bright. However after wearing it for an hour, I hated it! It melted right into the lines of my lips and left them feeling dry, extenuated my lip lines and just looked cracked all around! I had no clue what had happen. So of course I hit the net! The more I read online, the more I found people complaining about the same problem. However to counteract this problem, it was recommended to apply an emollient lip balm underneath in order to prevent it from settling into dry lines and keeping your lips moist. So every time I wore this, I found myself applying lip balm for preventative measures. I wanted to order their Melted Nude color, but held off as I didn't really like the fact that I needed lip balm in order to get this product to cooperate.

About six months later, Too Faced came out with a whole new ranges of colors for their melted liquid lipsticks.  I fell in love with their Melted Sugar color.  It has got to be one of the most beautiful nudes I have ever seen.  However based on the last issue with the formula, I wasn't sure if I wanted to bother with it altogether.  Nonetheless, about two months later, my amazing friend, Jenny sent me a baby gift with the Melted Sugar color as a treat for me!!  I was so in love with the fact that I actually had this color in my house that I put it on right away!  I completely forgot to apply the lip balm before hand, but it didn't matter.  This liquid lipstick held on so well and melted right into my lips in a creamy type of way.  It lasted for hours and didn't budge one bit.  I was amazed not only on how pigmented it was for being completely matte, but just how amazing it felt. 

I read later somewhere that some of the liquid lipsticks had the problem of settling into lines and coming across really dry.  However, I also read that once they released their second batch of new colors; it seems as if the formula was changed and the creaminess was on "fleek!"  Truth be told, whatever it is, I like it.  There is in my opinion a massive difference with the formula of the first batch and the formula of the second batch.  At this point if its true that they have re-formulated the texture of this product, then that means I can buy my long awaited Melted Nude!

Too Faced is truly one of my favorite makeup company's that always puts out quality makeup.  So when Melted Peony failed on me, I had a feeling it was either a fluke or a problem with the batch.  Nonetheless, now that it has been corrected, my love for Too Faced can continue in the form of buying more of their Melted Liquid Lipsticks!  Have you seen their new Melted Metal?  Of course I plan to try those out as well! They look awesome on Youtube!

Well their you have it, my review on Too Faced Melt Liquid Lipsticks!  Have you tried any of their colors?  Let me know down below what you think of them!

Keep Smiling!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Julep Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette

Julep Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette - $54.00 / $43.20 US

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I love Julep!  I have been a member of their subscription box for a year now.  I love the fact that I can curate my own box every month without paying for products I don't want or need.  For $24.00 a month, I expect to pay for what I get.  Plus picking out my own products makes it all more worth the while and the money!

Last year Julep came out with their Photogenic Sweep Palette during the holidays.  It had 11 shadows with a mixture of matte and shimmer.  They were absolutely stunning shadows which were gorgeous in texture, blendability and color.  I wore that palette throughout the holiday season like if it was going out of style.  It was a limited edition and was discontinued after the holidays were over.  The one thing that I like about Julep's shadows in general is how well formulated they are.  The matte shadows are never chalky and the shimmer shades don't have any fallout when applied.  They are very creamy, blend well and last all day long.  I don't remember ever having to touch up my eyeshadow when I sport these babies.  So when I saw that Julep had come out with another palette; their Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette for the summer, I literally bounced on it! 

Their Long Weekend palette consist of 11 shadows which are all matte.  In case you haven't noticed, but the craze this season is all about the mattes!  Just about every makeup company is putting out an all matte shadow something.  I personally don't mind as I love matte shadows (as well as shimmer and satin ones) as long as they are well formulated.  So of course, since Julep is up in the makeup world game, they followed suit and put out an impressive matte palette.
These shadows come in a lovely cardboard packaging with fun summer colors on the cover. It has a very nice mirror that does not give you the fun house look effect. The palette consist of 11 shadows just like it predecessor, however these are all matte in texture.  The palette contains three nude colors, two greenish colors, three purples and the rest browns. The assortment of colors are really great as it allows you to do just about any type of eye look you want. The names of the shadows are just about any type of word or activity you would do on the long weekend. Its pretty cute to be honest! The palette also comes with its own eyeshadow brush which is actually useful and functionable. You can apply and blend your eyeshadow with one end, and use the pointed end to apply shadow on the outer portion of your eye or as an eyeliner brush. The shadows had very little fall out that its hardly noticeable when swiping on the pan.  However when applied on the eye, everything stays in place with no fallout underneath your lower lashes.

I always use primer when applying eyeshadow because I like the fact that it wears longer and at times can make the colors look more vibrant.  These shadows are rich in color and when applied wet come off even more vibrant with their beautiful hues of greens, purples and browns.   What I love about this palette is that it is not a carbon copy of their Photogenic Sweep palette.  Many times when companies make a second version of their palettes, they tend to mirror closely the original palette which can be frustrating when you are paying all over again for basically the same colors.  In the first palette there were a lot more purples and pinks, while in the new palette they have a bigger assortment of colors.   I would really recommend this palette if you are looking for a nice inexpensive palette.  I bought this for $24.00 when it was available for the monthly box option.  However Julep always has constant sales and worth snatching up when they come out!

However with all being said, something to keep in mind.  Julep sales are only for members.  The non members pay full price.  Nonetheless, if you are interested in trying out their products, you can sign up for your first box and pay $2.99 for shipping and that's it!  In order to try out this amazing deal, simply click on the link here!  After that you can continue with the monthly box subscription, pause your subscription or cancel at anytime with no penalties!  

So there you have it, my Julep Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette review! Let me know if you have tried this palette or their original and what your thoughts are!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: While this post does contain a referral link, all opinions are my own and I was not paid to write this piece. 
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mia Adora 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara

Mia Adora 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara - $21.95 US

Let's be honest.  Who isn't after longer, thicker eyelashes?!  I know I am and God knows I have gone to great lengths to get them!  I have tried just about every formula of mascara known to man. I have tried eyelash extensions, eyelash stripes and individual ones as well.  Two years ago I tried on fiber lashes and hated them.  They cost me $40 and I had them shipped from Australia.  I wore them one and only one time (outdoors) to a medical seminar I was speaking at and they literally flaked on me all over.  It seems like my lashes were literally falling off.  I am not surprised on how my colleagues didn't ask me if I was suffering from some sort of illness!!

 When Mia Adora contacted me to see if I was interested in trying out their 3D fiber mascara, I was hesitant as I feared that I would end up with the same flaky mascara lash mess.  However I spoke to many of my makeup addict friends and they informed me that not all fiber lashes are the same.  That some do actually work and that they work quiet well.  So I decided in the name of beauty to give it a shot!

The packaging is very elegant and quite beautiful.  It comes in a sleek black case with satin trim on the inside.  It comes with two tubes of product.  One is the magnifying gel and the other one is the natural fiber lashes.  This product works as a three-fold.  However, I recommend that you do this procedure one eye at time, as this stuff in general dries fast. First, you apply your natural everyday mascara.  After this, you apply the magnifying gel wait 10 seconds then apply the natural fiber lashes.  Afterwards, you apply again the magnifying gel quickly to set the fibers.  If for some reason you feel that you need more "lashes", then you repeat the process in those steps (minusing the mascara part) all over again.

I have to say, I was impressed completely with this fiber mascara.  My lashes literally looked like false lashes.  They held on all day and were a breeze to remove at night. I had very little to no shedding that occurred after like 10 hours of wear.  They looked beautiful and did not irritate my eyes since I wear contacts.  I would so totally recommend this product if you are looking into a fiber mascara.  They ship both to the US and Canada and for the price are pretty reasonable!

So there you have it, my review on Mia Adora 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara!  Let me know below if you have tried this or any other mascara!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: While this product was sent to me for review, however I was not compensated in anyway for my opinion and all views are solely my own!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Paula Begoun's 10 Makeup Commandments!

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I love Paula Begoun.   Not only because her skincare line has totally changed my life and the way I look at face products, but because she is a woman after my own heart.  Working in healthcare, I go on facts, not fiction or about what someone thinks, but on facts.  Paula bases her skincare line on real medical journal articles and published research.  I also read these articles on a normal basis when it comes to looking into skincare (and mental health due to my academic degrees).  I have never been bought by companies trying to sell me crap with no proof or based on their own published research which is bias at best.  I believe as consumers, the days of being bought by fluffy advertisement are gone.  We live in a world of information where one can literally find it all at their fingertips.  There is no reason now-a-days why companies who claim to be "experts" in the field are putting out products with harmful ingredient in their skincare line though these facts are clearly noted in published research.  As to why these people choose to ignore these truths beats me.  But I for one refuse to be lead like a lamb to the slaughter knowing I had a way out and decided to ignore the door to my exist.  A bit dramatic I will admit, but in reality you have one skin, one face, one chance.  So why ruin it with crappy products when you know you can buy the best at affordable prices?

When it comes to skincare, I listen to Paula's research and proven advise like a devoted follower.  I won't even buy a foundation without checking it first on her website to see if the ingredients are safe for the skin.  I follow her skincare advise down to the letter.  However when it comes to makeup (not makeup ingredients) I make my own judgement call there because makeup to women is like ties to me...its personal.  Paula loves her matte shadows and really only recommends them.  However I like shimmer and stain shadows as well and play around with them in an adult like manner.  At one point, Paula was completely against anything that wasn't matte.  But again that a matter of preference, right. As long as the ingredients are safe and I like the color and texture, then I shall go for it!  Nonetheless in general when it comes to makeup she is normally correct when talking about the texture, blendablity, durability and so on.  However she is always on spot when talking about the ingredients.

I recently came upon an article that Paula wrote that I wanted to share that had some amazing tips about makeup. I will also post underneath my thoughts on each of her 10 Makeup Commandments!

Side note: Paula Begoun created her own skincare line called Paula's Choice!  If you are serious about skincare and would like to try out anything from Paula's Choice Skincare line, click on this link here for $10 dollars off ANYTHING you buy over $15 dollars!  This works for those who have never ordered anything off her website!  Its a great way to try out her skincare and save money at the same time! They also have a complete return and refund policy that is amazing!

1. Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better! There are good and bad products in all price categories, and there are brilliant inexpensive products you should absolutely consider before going for the expensive stuff. 

Dayana's Thoughts: I normally don't buy drugstore makeup due to the inability to be able to play with the colors and swatches.  However I will agree, the few drugstore makeup I have is so amazing that it rivals some high end brands.  For example, I only buy drugstore mascara because the formula is more or less the same in the high end.  Don't get me wrong I will try a high end mascara at time if it catches my eye (no pun intended), but on the norm, drugstore mascara it is!

2. Shop With A Clean Slate! If you plan to test foundation or concealer, visit the store or salon with a clean, bare face that’s prepped for makeup application, or be willing to take off the makeup you have on.

Dayana's Thoughts: I have yet to ever step into Sephora with makeup on.  This point I always drive home.  No point in trying out new makeup if you have a face full of it on.  A clean slate goes a long way in allowing the colors to probably mix with your skintone, and not the remnant of the makeup you just removed in a haste at the makeup counter in order to apply something else over it.

3. The Right Light is Key! Always check foundation, concealer and powder colors in natural light. Department store lighting is deceiving; what looks perfect under artificial light can look glaringly wrong in broad daylight.

Dayana's Thoughts: How many times have you not tried a foundation at Sephora and thought "man that looks awesome" only to take it home and see that it doesn't match? Always ask for a handheld mirror and walk out of the store to see your color in natural lighting.  There is where you can tell if that foundation or concealer works for you or not.  However, remember to bring the mirror back whether or not you end up buying something!

4. Tone Down the Shine! Be careful with shiny blush and eyeshadow. Generally, for daytime makeup, a blush with a matte finish or just a hint of sheen works best. Shinier makeup is best reserved for evening use or special occasions.

Dayana's Thoughts: Shimmer now-a-days can be worn during the day as it has become acceptable and the color ranges and shine are more realistic.  I know back when Studio 54 was around, everyone who wore makeup looked like a disco ball.  Thank God those days are gone and makeup is more realistic to the average woman including shimmer and stain eyeshadow.  I will agree though, careful on the blushes and bronzers.  To much shine in those make you look oily and very unnatural.    

5. It’s All in the Tools! Whenever possible, test powder-based products (e.g., blush, eyeshadow) with the appropriate brushes. Avoid sponge-tip applicators for eyeshadows and those cheap, super-tiny brushes often packaged with powder blushes.

Dayana's Thoughts:!!  I can't stress that enough.  Those crappy brushes that come with your eyeshadows and blushes don't do anything more then ruin your makeup.  I throw them ALL out.  They are useless and leave your makeup looking harsh and unnatural.  Invest in good quality makeup brushes that won't break the bank but are professional brushes. I buy mine from Blank Canvas Cosmetics because they are professional quality, affordable and durable.  However with that being said, the brushes that Urban Decay Naked palettes come with are actually real functionable brushes.  I recommend keeping those as they do work. Maybe not to produce every eye look, but for sure for applying and blending shadows.  

6. Protect Those Peepers & Lips! Never test mascara or liquid eyeliner in the store. Even if the brand offers disposable applicators, you don’t know how many people have double-dipped, how old the testers are, or how contaminated they may be. We know it’s a pain, but for the health of your eyes, it’s best to purchase these products and test them at home. The same is true when it comes to lip glosses. Most glosses have sponge-tip or brush applicators that can harbor germs from other people. It’s best to swipe the gloss on the top of your hand so you can get a sense of how the color “reads” on your skin and can assess its texture and finish.

Dayana's Thoughts: Being a clean freak when it comes to my face and cosmetics; Paula nailed it here.  Never ever apply lipgloss to your lips or mascara to your eyes from a test tube at a store.  Make sure if you want to try out a formula from a makeup brand, that the store has a return option.  Buy the real unopened product and try it out at home.  If you hate it, return it, get your money back.  I know it might be a hassle doing a double trip, but better that then a few trips to the eye doctor or ER for an eye or fungus infection.  That will cost you more in time and money from the medication you will need to cure up that nastiness. 

7. Smack On Lips, Not Germs! Before you test a lipstick on your lips, have a salesperson sanitize it for you with an alcohol-based spray. Lipsticks at the counter can become contaminated with germs and microbes that you don’t want near your mouth. No alcohol spray? Then wipe off several layers of lipstick with a clean tissue or have the sales associate “shave” off the top portion of the lipstick with a disposable spatula.

Dayana's Thoughts: Personally, no matter what the sales associate does I will not try out ANY lip products that are testers.  I don't care if she shaves it, or wipes it.  When was the last time she actually cleaned that spatula? Even if it is disposable, when was the last time she cleaned her hands before she reached for it?  Keep it safe and swatch it on your hands.  Again, ask about their return policy if you are not sure if the color will look good on you.  If they don't have one, then walk away and go find the color somewhere else.  Trust me, dupes exist on all makeup brands and their colors.   

8. Take Cues from the Pros! See a cosmetics salesperson whose makeup you admire? Ask them for application tips, especially if their skin tone is similar to yours. Chances are good you’ll pick up some great tips and begin to feel more confident about selecting the best colors for your needs.

Dayana's Thoughts: Sephora is great for this.  If you ask them how to do a smokey eye look, they will do one eye for you and have you do the other while teaching you along away.  You can also buy a $50 Sephora gift card (for yourself or others) and that will get you get a free makeover or lesson as well. 

9. When In Doubt, Take It Back and Try Again! If you buy a product that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to take it back. Almost all drugstores and mass-market stores (think Rite Aid and Wal-Mart) will provide a complete refund on cosmetics purchases if you have the receipt—even if the item has been used. 

Dayana's Thoughts: Always check the store policy about returns and refunds in case you don't like the product after testing it or playing with it at home and want to return it.  Nothing sucks more then being stuck with stuff you can't return.  However always remember, its makeup.  If you screw it up, just wipe it off and do it again or return it if the color doesn't suit you.  I always play with new eye looks at the end of the day right before I wash my face at night.  That's how I learned to prefect a smokey (and non-smokey) blue eyeshadow look.  Which brings us to our last point.....  

10. Bye, Bye Blues! Lastly, as stated in Paula’s first book, Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal, AVOID blue eyeshadow. Unless it’s a deep navy, which can almost pass for black, most shades of blue are difficult to work with. Plus, they do not play up blue eyes; actually, the opposite is true. The same goes for any eyeshadow shade that’s too colorful, including orange, green, fuchsia, teal and especially red, which can make your eye area look inflamed rather than attractive. Not ready to give up such shades? Think of the fashion magazine covers you’ve admired, and then ask yourself: How many of those models or celebrities were sporting bright, colorful eye designs?

Dayana's Thoughts: I totally disagree here.  Long gone is the day of crazy looking blue eyeshadow that reminded you of Rainbow Bright.  Back then people had no clue about blending, transitional colors or how to incorporate other colors to make it look realistic.  You can now wear blue eyeshadow for just about any eye color.  I recently sported a blue with very light purple hues eyeshadow to a retirement party and everyone stated on how lovely the shadow looked without being over the top.  Even the guys made comments on how well it was done.  I actually watched Jaclyn Hill on Youtube pull this look off and I copied her completely.  So while some colors might not at all still work for main stream day or night wear (think red eyeshadow) but others are being incorporated in a more sophisticated matter. 

So there you have it, my thoughts on Paula Begoun 10 Makeup Commandments!  Tell me which ones you agree with or not!  Remember makeup has (almost) no rules!!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: While this post does contain a referral link, all opinions are my own and I was not paid to write this piece. 
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Eyeshadow Palette - $42.00 US

I love eyehadow palettes. I literally have to stop and control myself from buy all of them because if I don't, I would have a mountain like Sephora store full of them.  Eyeshadow palettes allow you to do an endless amount of looks with one compact!  You can get them with a mix of either matte, shimmer or stain shades as well some palettes that just offer one type of finish.  I own two palettes from It Cosmetics.  Their limited edition (which is no longer available) Celebration palette that was released last year during the holidays and their Naturally Pretty Palette.

I recently bought their Naturally Pretty Palette after The Shopping Channel sent me a free $50 gift card to use.  I of course jumped at the chance to buy this product since I was eyeing it for the longest. It comes in a velour type material packaging.  Only issue I have with this is that it can and will get dirty pretty quickly.  I very much prefer their Celebration palette packaging that comes with a durable awesome cover.  This palette is also talc free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free. Being talc free allows for many makeup users out there allergic to this ingredient to indulge in this palette with delight.  Moreover the lack of fragrance is great because skincare and makeup should never have fragrance which is very irritating for the skin.

This palette has 15 shadows.  What I love about this palette is how soft, buttery and blendable the shadows are.  They are completely matte with the exception of the transforming shadow.  However they are not chalky and do not have much if any fallout.  The shade range is very cool tone and the colors work well when blending with each other.  This also came with a double ended luxe brush which is dense and allows for the pick up and placement of shadow, plus for blending.  The other side of the brush also allows you to apply some of the shadows as eyeliner.  

I have seen and tried many Youtube makeup tutorials with this palette and have come up with a few of my own.  Since this palette offers a beautiful range of pinks, purples and browns; they all merge together to offer a great shadow combination.  Since they blend pretty well together, its almost hard to mess up a look.  Also, the color payoff on these shadows are amazing.  Since they are not chalky, their pigmentation is very rich and vibrant.  If you decide to use these shadows with a wet brush, the hues are even brighter.  

I would totally recommend this palette if you are interested in trying out an It Cosmetics product but not sure where to start.

So there you have it, my review on the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette.  Let me know if you have tried this palette and what your thoughts are.

Keep Smiling!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Maybelline Color Tattoo

Maybelline Color Tattoo

Maybelline Color Tattoo - $6.00 / $10.00 CDN

On my blog and Youtube Channel, I hardly ever mention drugstore makeup.  Not because I don't like it; its simply because besides the lipsticks (which is gross) you can't really sample any other products at the drugstore.  When it comes to makeup, I need to feel the texture, feel how it blends and see the pigmentation swatched on my hand.  At Sephora, you can play with all the makeup and beyond to your hearts content.  However, at the drugstore, you are limited to what you can actually touch and play with.  Hence why I normally only shop at Sephora or Holt Renfrew (for the makeup brands I can't find at Sephora) because of their ability to let you touch the fun stuff.

I was watching Youtube a few months back, and noticed that everyone was talking about these Maybelline's Color Tattoo shadows.  Youtube is great because it allows the viewers to get real personal reviews from average folks.  Plus, they swatch the colors, talk about pigmentation and show you the texture in regards to how they apply.   So after seeing a few of the Youtube Guru's mentioning this product and doing makeup tutorials, I decided to give this a shot.

I picked up two at my local Shoppers Drugmart.  I first bought Tough as Taupe because I like the matte greyish brown/purply color and figured I could do a few matte eye looks with this. I then went back and picked up Bad to the Bronze after seeing Makeup by TiffanyD doing an everyday-go-to eyeshadow tutorial.

These Color Tattoo's come in a .14oz glass jar.  You can buy these in three different types of variations.  Either in metal, cream gel or leather textures and colors.   The two colors I have come in the cream gel form.  They are soft to the touch.  However I noticed that the Bad to the Bronze which is a shimmer stain finish is much softer then Tough as Taupe which is a very matte color.  Both swatch well and are easy to apply.  I like to apply these two eyeshadows with my Blank Canvas Cosmetics F17 brush.  Since these are cream and not powder eyeshadows, they apply better with a concealer type brush since the bristles are designed and used to pick up and blend cream products. 

These cream shadows have amazing staying power.  When I swatched both these eyeshadows and went to wipe them off, they didn't move.  I had to wash the back of my hand really hard a couple of times before it came off.  I actually gave in and used makeup remover as it didn't come off completely with soap and water.  It stood all day and didn't move, crease or budge on my eyes.  I was amazed at their staying power and blendability.  They didn't crease throughout the day and really held their pigmentation.   They are very creamy and apply well.  However those that are matte tend be a little less creamier then the shimmer ones.  Nonetheless, applying them to my lid was no big deal.      

The only problem I have with cream eyeshadows is that they tend to dry out very quickly.  So unless you are using them everyday, don't except these to last more then a year.  However for the price, it makes it possible to toss them out and buy new ones year after year.  

I would totally recommend these if you are in the market for new cream eyeshadows.  Maybelline really stands out here with their textures and colors.  There are 20 shades in total in the line, with the exception of the limited edition ones they put out here and there.  Also, something to keep in mind, I have noticed that some of the colors and textures that are sold in the USA are either not sold in Canada or sold in a different color and form. 

So there you have it, my short review on Maybelline's Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows!

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lip Mask + Lip Balm Duo

Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lip Mask + Lip Balm Duo - $26.00 CDN

Since I was about 13 years old, I have been exfoliating my lips with my toothbrush right after brushing my teeth.  It has helped with keeping at bay dry, chapped lips.  However this winter, since the weather drop to like -40 degrees (F) in Ontario, it did a serious number on my lips that no lip balm or toothbrush could cure.  My lips were not only chapped but they were peeling and bleeding no matter what type of lip balm I applied.  I had to stop wearing lipstick and lipgloss because it just looked awful with the state of my lips.  That just sucked when I couldn't finish my makeup look with my favorite lip products.  

One day while surfing instagram (don't you just love that social media!!) I saw a girl who I follow mention this product, the Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lip Mask + Lip Balm Duo.  I had seen it on Sephora a few days before, but was not sure if it was real or just another gimmicky product.  She mentioned on how it made her lips fuller and smoother after just one application.  Grant it,  the results  of fuller lips were temporary as this isn't botox, but nonetheless she took before and after pictures that did show impressive results.  So of course, I hopped on over to Sephora and picked it up.  I mean it was only $26 dollars, so why not.  

It came in a lovely blue box with two products inside.  A lip mask in a 0.32oz glass size jar and 0.17oz lip balm in a stand up tube.  The products are small and basically seem more like a trial version then anything else, however for $26 what more can you ask for?!  The creator of this product, Dr. Stuart Kaplan states that the lip mask has great ingredients including 22 organic extracts, High and Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid, Marine Collagen Tri-Peptide and Papaya Enzymes to help plump up the lips.  The lip balm contains SPF 20 in order to protect the lips for the harmful UV rays.  This product claims to plump up your lips by reducing fine lines and hydrating them.  

I read the directions on the box and it stated to apply the lip mask with the enclosed spatula to clean lips for 3-5 minutes.  Afterwards you are to tissue it off and apply the lip balm immediately in order to lock in the hydration and protect the lips from sunburn.  At about the 1-2 minute mark, I started feeling a tingling sensation as this was stated could be a possibility.  However I didn't feel any burning sensation which was great.  After wiping it off I applied the lip balm right away as stated.

My results were in between.  While I didn't see a massive difference on my top lip, however I did notice my bottom lip was much much fuller and looked pretty and plum.  I assume that is due to the hyaluronic acid that is found in the mask.  Hyaluronic acid plumps up the skin when applied to the surface and helps to hide wrinkles.  Lips tend to wrinkle as we get older, so this acid is great for smoothing out the skin.  This also left my lips feeling wonderful.  They felt extremely smooth and soft just after one application.  The chapness I was dealing with after just one application seemed less visible.   

Overall, while I didn't get the botox lip look that we would all love to have (fuller lips I mean not blown up lips) it still gave me an impressive bottom lip that was soft, smooth and felt hydrated.  I would totally recommend this product if you are looking to plump up your lips (temporary) and get a soft smooth finish.  

So there you have it.  My review on this product that seems to be just about on everyone's lips!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops - $44.00 CDN

I have been using foundation since I was 15 years old.  My first foundation I ever played with was Covergirl. I mean what teenage girl didn't back in the 1990's use this brand!  I wore it once or twice and gave up because the color match was awful and always made me look pink.  When I turned 17 years, my friend brought me to Bloomingdales where she introduced me to Perspectives and I used that foundation until the company shut down the line.  They did relaunch their product line (very limitedly) in the USA but nowhere else.  Being in Canada now, they won't ship across the border so that doesn't benefit me.

For the last few years I have struggled to find a foundation that I can really bound with.  I first tried Bareminerals loose powder and hated the powdery look it left me.  I then tried Cover FX press powder and still got the same results as Bareminerals and stopped using it.  After that I went stupidly high end in name brand (and price tag) and bought Guerlain Lingerie de Peau.  And while I loved the finish, texture and feel of this foundation and how it literally leaves your face looking like natural skin, it oxidized on me.  Made me look very bronzy all around which I didn't like.  I was heartbroken when I realize this would not be my holy grail foundation as I imagined.  I then moved to Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation.  This really applies well and blends beautifully with my skin, however it still at certain angles looks  And while I know we can't fake the fact that the majority of us wear makeup, I would still like a foundation that looks almost natural.

One day while surfing Sephora (which is like everyday) I saw that Cover FX had launched this new product called Custom Cover Drops.  It is basically a pigment that you mix in with either your primer, illuminator, facial oils, moisturizer and yes even foundation to get the color and/or type of coverage you want.  I have never seen such a product like this because its not a foundation but a pigment.  I know pigments exist for eyeshadows and blushes but not for foundations...till now.  So before buying this, I did what any good makeup obsessed person does, I checked and Paula's Choice to see real people's and professionally rated reviews on the product which were pretty good!  What I found interesting was the fact on how everyone became a chemist overnight mixing this product in with anything that was either water based, silicone based or oil based in order to achieve their desired texture for their base.  What was also interesting was just how clever these drops work.

If you want sheer coverage, you apply 1-2 drops to get minimum coverage. (I have  done 2 drops and still got sheer coverage.  So trust me on the math).  If you want moderate coverage you can apply 2-3 drops which will help hide pesky imperfections.  And finally if you want full right on coverage, you can apply 4-5 drops to cover it all!  I have done anywhere between 2-4 drops depending on the state of post partum hormonal face that day and I have seen it cover everything for a large pimple to blackheads with no problem.  What I also like about this product is the fact that it actually looks like natural skin!  Since you can mix these drops with just about anything, the textural finish you are going for depends on you.  Since I mix this in with my illuminator, it blends in like a moisturizer and leaves me with a soft and slightly dewy effect which is great because these drops are actually matte.  And while the matte is not a totally flat look, it doesn't get dewy either.  

These drops come in 24 colors ranging from a porcelain white with pink undertones to a deep medium shade with golden undertones.  Their user guide for shade selection is so friendly and properly laid out, that I was able to pick my color online based on the description they gave. Moreover, because of their impressive shade range, the odds of not finding your color is slim.  If for some reason your shade is not available, you can always mix two colors in order to get your exact shade.

The cool thing about these drops is that no matter what you mix it with, your shade will remain the same regardless of the fact.  Moreover, the coverage you want is totally within your hands (literally) and you can decide based on your skin that morning how little or much drops you need in order to get the prefect coverage for the day.  I am an N25.  Since I am fair skin but have neutral undertones, this color works prefect for me!  

The only draw back I see with these drops are three things. 1. For $44 dollars, the bottle is small.  However since it is a pigment and you only need a few drops and a little goes a long way; so I guess it makes sense.  2. The bottle is not user friendly.  It spills a lot on the sides because it has a wide mouth and a droplet.  It would be best if Cover FX bottled this in a pump which helps to eliminate air, light and bacteria which eventually effects the integrity of non-pump foundations.  Also, pumps are spill proof.  This bottle sadly isn't.  And 3. If you have ANY dryness on your face, this will cling to it and make it noticeable.  So make sure to moisturizer the heck out of your  face and any dry patches you may have.  However, with that being said, if you have really dry skin, you might want to consider skipping this altogether since it will extenuate the dryness on your face. 

I really like these drops and plan to continue using them till the bottle runs out.  I have worn this already 4-5 times and have loved it every time.  Will this be my next holy grail? Who knows.  We shall just have to wait and see.  But for now its giving me the most important thing, the look of real skin :)

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