June 14, 2012

I lied

Guys, I really am a hair snob. I just couldn't do it. Out with Outrageous and in with Pureology. With the amount I damage my hair (wait what? I'm totally this blonde....) the poor thing really does appreciate the extra TLC. I really could have stuck it out with the Outrageous but it left my hair so darn dry and seeing broken pieces fly every time I touch it was a little concerning. Please don't think less of me, I promise I don't look down my nose at you.

Ahhhhhhhh that's better

June 11, 2012

an inexpensive MUST have

I quite like the look of a defined winged eyeliner. This look is most easily achieved when using a gel/cream eyeliner and a brush, over a kohl or pencil liner. I have been using MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and have been quite happy with it until I absent-mindedly left the lid off and it dried up a little. Boooo. It was nothing so terrible it had to be thrown away but it did change the consistency a little and and has been a bit finicky to use since. My friend Laura knew that I was soon in the market for a new liner as I had inquired after her using a drugstore product and how she liked it. She said it was a nice product but I decided that because of my MAC Pro discount it made sense for me to just stick with Blacktrack as it worked out to the same price as the drugstore counterpart anyway. UNTIL, until Laura told me that she had come upon a new drugstore line – Essence, and that they had a gel liner that not only got great reviews on my favorite makeup reference site Makeup Alley, but was an inexpensive alternative at only $3.50! I looked up the Essence gel liners and found a great YouTube video showing swatches and decided I wanted the color Midnight in Paris, a deep dark black. Laura had found the line at a local Shopper’s Drug Mart and said she would pick me one up when she went back to purchase some for herself (what a gal!)

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Folks, you’ve got to get your hands on this stuff. I am over the moon about this product (I know, I get a little worked up about a good find). It is fantastic! This product is easy to apply, dark and pigmented, does not smudge, fade or flake and did I mention it’s $3.50?!! The only issue is Laura had to go to about 4 Shopper’s to find the Essence line and my friend Sarah who is now on the hunt for this stuff has been to about 3 and can’t find it either. I think Essence is new to Canada (as their website says “now in Shopper’s Drug Mart”) and my guess is not all stores are carrying it yet. I believe you can find the brand at Ulta in the States. It is absolutely worth the hunt.

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I promise I'm happier about this liner than that - I forgot about the rest of my face - imagine a big toothy grin :oD

To compare Midnight in Paris to Blacktrack I would say Blacktrack is more of a paste, where this stuff is a true gel consistency. The packaging is similar, both in 3 mL round pots with screw top lids. The price point is where the biggest difference lies with Blacktrack setting you back $18 CA and Midnight in Paris coming in at $3.50. I don’t see myself using Blacktrack again, honestly, and not just because of the price difference. The Essence gel liner is deeper and a truer black than the fluidline and I genuinely find it easier to apply (and I am referring to my pre-leaving-the-lid-off incident.)

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Essence Midnight in Paris on the left, MAC Blacktrack Fluidline on right

If you are a seasoned gel/cream eyeliner kind of gal I think you will be really impressed with this product and if you are a defined eyeliner beginner I think this is a great place to start – not only is this product inexpensive and not a great commitment to practice on, I truly feel it is easier to apply and work with than other cream liners I have used. I recommend this to anyone (everyone!) looking for a liner in this form.

Great work Laura.

June 4, 2012

smells like teen spirit

…or at least what my hair smelled like when I was a teen. If you follow my instagram you will know that I have recently come upon a hair product I favored when I was a teen - Revlon’s Outrageous shampoo and conditioner. I believe I used this stuff pretty steady for a lot of junior high and maybe into high school, I can’t remember. I loved the way it gave my hair bounce and volume and the smell, ooooh the smell. It actually makes me think of my good friends Jennifer and Laura, I seem to remember them commenting on the smell of my hair on more than one occasion.
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While just leaving the hair aisle at Wal Mart these bottles caught my eye and I stopped dead in my tracks. I hadn’t seen, let alone thought of, this product in years. At a whopping cost of $1.96 per bottle I decided I could grab them for old time’s sake, and conveniently I was almost out of my current shampoo and conditioner anyway. I can’t say that I love them as much as my younger self did. Unfortunately (?) I have acquired a preference for professional hair products and believe that in many cases you get what you pay for. A few weeks of use into the bottles I am noticing that while I do get that same softness, this product does seem to leave my ends rather dry. As someone that washes my hair once every 5 or 6 days I am also noticing my hair is rather limp and lifeless by that point, which it usually isn’t. Having said that, I am not a hair snob and am committed to using these bottles to the last squeeze and am going to enjoy every sniff of my hair as I do.

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June 1, 2012

some recent faves

I promised a post and I am here to deliver. I want to share with you just a few things I have been loving on lately.

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1. Loreal Waterproof Gentle Makeup Remover – I got to the bottom of my usual Clean & Clear Foaming Face wash and decided that because I am currently treating my skin with a little ProActiv action that I didn’t really need a full face wash, just something to remove my eye makeup. I had seen this makeup remover before and was intrigued with it’s 2 phase system (it is not the packaging that makes it look like that, the liquids are separated and the bottle must be shaken to mix them together before using.) I do not wear waterproof makeup but I do wear a healthy dose of mascara and often have sticky gloss that needs to be removed. I picked this up and I am so glad I did. I am IMPRESSED. I wet (with water) my entire face getting my mascara good and running (haha, it's such a good look) and then get a little product on a cotton pad and barely have to wipe and my makeup is gone. Literally. I have used other products where you have to wipe and pull and wipe some more but this product is strong enough to remove all makeup without much effort but gentle enough that it doesn’t sting or burn my eyes as other removers have. I am really impressed with this product.

2. MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush – (Don't mind the pic of my dirty brush!) My current favorite foundation is MAC Face and Body as I love it’s dewy finish. It is quite runny and up until recently I had been simply using my fingers to apply it. As I mentioned I have been treating my skin and as a result have found it a little more dry as of late. I was needing something to buff the foundation into my dry skin, as using my fingers was not leaving a nice finish on my changing skin. The MUA at MAC suggested this brush and I. Am. In. Love. I have NO idea why it took me so long to come upon this gem. I put a little foundation on the back of my hand and use this brush to dab into it and then stipple and buff the foundation into my skin. I get such even coverage and a beautiful finish with the foundation really worked into my skin instead of just sitting on top. You can use this brush for other products as well but I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fantastic foundation brush. 

3. MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Fling – I have been letting my natural brows grow in a bit more as I like a fuller brow and wanted to let my own brows do their thing - within reason of course. Like most people the inner points of my brows are fairly thin and definitely needed to be filled in to blend with the rest of my brows instead of looking like stray hairs. I had been using MAC Omega to fill in my brows and although that does a good job for the length of my brow it did nothing for the sparse little tips. I picked up a MAC brow pencil in the color Fling and have been using that to shape and fill in my brows instead. It has made a world of difference – they just needed something a little more pigmented and something that could define their shape. While I am happy with this product there are many different brands that make brow pencils and correctors and I’ve got my eye on a few I want to try. Do you recommend any?

4. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – This is actually my girlfriend Sarah’s product. She told me to give it a try as she rarely uses it. I have a face primer from Hard Candy but I don’t use it often as I don’t really notice any results. The first time I used this primer I could tell a difference in my skin. I apply it with my fingers before I apply my foundation as I described above and I am left with a very smooth and glowy face. My foundation lasts all day and I think it helps my bronzer/blush wear longer as well. I do notice that my face feels a little more (I don’t want to use the word oily) glisteny but nothing that I can’t handle. I kinda don’t want to give it back to Sarah! :)

So there you have it, a few things I’ve been impressed with. Have you tried any of these? Do you have any products you’ve been loving lately?