Spring YAYs & NAYs – Skincare and Beauty Favourites

Hello my dears,

It has been so long. I am not going to get into the whys and whatnots. Instead, let’s just pick up where we left off and get right into some fun. Today I want to start doing a new series of regular monthly posts. I want to share with you my favourite products for the month, as well as a few sad trombone products (because we all love to dish the tea).

In the future I would also like to do a monthly video of me using my favourites, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I receive compensation for your clicks or purchases. Feel free to not use my links if that makes you uncomfortable. More information about my affiliations and compensation can be found here on my disclosure page. Affiliate links, or links for which I would receive compensation, will be marked with a *.

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My Favourite Makeup

Primer: *Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer Lift & Firm ($9-16CAD)

After hearing Emily Noel talk about the Hard Candy Primers, I had to try them. I rushed in to Walmart and saw that the hydrating primer was sold out so I grabbed this one instead. It feels light weight on, and I like the way my makeup applies over top. I’m not sure about the lifting and firming claims, but I do enjoy the way I look when I wear it.

Foundation: *GOSH CC Cream Illuminating Foundation in 02 Ivory (Also Available *here) (16-25CAD)

This was a totally random buy for me. I haven’t had much luck with GOSH products in the past, but I saw this on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart (5CAD! I had to!) and couldn’t refuse a cheap illuminating foundation. I am so in love with it! The coverage is way better than I anticipated from a CC Cream, somewhere around medium. I love how moisturizing this feels and the glow it gives my skin. This is a perfect product for a natural looking makeup day or a day that you want to just throw something on without needing a brush or beauty blender. One pretty major negative I see here is that there are only 8 shades available. I also would suggest that people with oily skin skip this one as it is VERY moisturizing.

Concealer: Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Skintone Adapting Concealer and Highlighter (Available *here, *here and *here) ($7-15CAD)

I got into makeup because of my dark circles. I have extremely pale skin that is very thin around my eyes. Add to that, I don’t get enough water or enough sleep and you get some serious panda eyes. As a result, I am a big fan of concealers and very particular about what I like. This Rimmel concealer is a little thick, but it blends out easily (I prefer using a beauty blender with this product). It’s pigmented enough to get the job done and even does great on blemishes. It’s highlighting without any shimmer, glitter or shine. It doesn’t dry out my undereyes and it feels nice. It does have a tendency to settle into lines, so you do need to set it pretty quickly, but I am ok with that. It is also a great product for carving out your brows, touching up your wing or your lipstick. Love it!

Loose Powder: bareMinerals Hydrating Mineral Veil (available *here, *here and here) ($27CAD)

I picked up this powder from Sephora a year ago, for my birthday. I was excited to try a hydrating powder, especially because my skin had been very very dry due to our new air conditioner. My first impression of it wasn’t great. I found the tint of the powder too dark for my skin tone (I’m very fair) and I felt it was heavy feeling. I’m not sure what changed, but I pulled this out of my collection to give it another shot and I LOVE it now. The colour isn’t perfect (I wish it was transparent or translucent), but it works well with my summer skin tone. In fact, this is my new favourite summer powder. It doesn’t feel heavy, but it doesn’t dry me out like regular setting powders. I don’t recommend it for under the eyes, at least for dry skin or fair tones, as it’s too dark and does emphasize lines and dryness. It sets my foundation perfectly without a powdery look.

Under Eye Setting Powder: Elf Illuminating Palette (available *here, *here and *here) ($8CAD)

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I’m sure you are a little confused by the category that I’ve put this in. An illuminating palette to set under the eyes? Yep. I first saw this on youtube (can’t remember who it was…maybe thataylaa?) and decided I had to try it. I’ve heard these powders are comparable to the hourglass ambient light powders. I would have to agree. They aren’t as dry in texture, but their look as a setting powder is similar. I don’t find these powders glittery or shimmery at all, which is why they work for me under my eyes. They are smooth and lovely on the skin. I use a combination of the top two powders to either wipe away my bake or to set under the eye, and the bottom two for elsewhere on the face if I want a more glowy finish. I use a sheer amount so as to not end up with patches of highlight on the skin. You can certainly build these up and use them as intended as highlights, but for me, they are amazing for setting.

Pressed Powder: CoverGirl Advanced Radiance Pressed Powder Compact (available *here, and here) ($8CAD)

This was a Tati youtube recommendation. I wanted to pick up a new luminous powder to try and when I saw Tati loved this one, I knew I had to give it a shot. I enjoy the way it sets my makeup and keeps it in place all day. I enjoy that this powder isn’t heavy and doesn’t make the skin matte. It’s not glittery or too glowy. It just gives my skin a more skin like look. It is very fair and has a white cast, so I wouldn’t recommend it for deeper skin tones, but it works for me (I am very fair). I don’t use this one under the eyes unless it’s just to wipe away a bake.

Bronzer: Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronzer (available *here, and here) ($20CAD)

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This bronzer is a fair skinned girl’s best friend. It is the perfect shade to give the face warmth without turning you into an oompa loompa. I have seen people use it to contour and it looked good (it’s still a little too warm for me to use it that way, but to each their own). I love how this applies. It’s pigmented enough to go on easily, but not so much that you have to be careful. It blends out like a dream and gives the skin such a beautiful natural glow. I love the pina colada scent, however I would caution those who are scent sensitive that this is definitely a highly fragranced product. I wish physician’s formula would release a special unscented version for those who need it, as this product should be enjoyed by everyone.

Blush: Wet N Wild Pearlescent Pink (available *here , *here, and here) ($5-10CAD)

This blush is a drugstore cult favourite and I can totally see why. It reminds me very much of NARS orgasm, but it’s exactly the same. It is a beautiful bright peachy golden blush that is just perfect for the summer time. The formula is pigmented so be careful applying it. It doesn’t last forever on my skin, but I can forgive that due to the low price tag. It goes on smoothly, blends nicely and leaves a really pretty golden glow.

Highlighter: Smashbox Spotlight Palette in Pearl (available *here, *here, and here) ($40CAD)

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I am a huge fan of Casey Holmes and feel pretty strongly about supporting creators in whatever way I can. When I saw that Casey was collabing with Smashbox, I was thrilled. When I saw what she was making, I couldn’t wait until these beauties were released! Because of my cool tones and fair skin, I was attracted to the Pearl palette. Both palettes come with two highlighters and one glitter topper, which is a great concept. When I swatched this in store, I was blown away by how smooth and creamy these powders are. They are beautiful on the skin, and can go on as a beautiful sheer wash or can easily be built up for a blinding glow. I’ve been wearing these every time I do a full face and love using them as my inner corner highlight for my eyes and the glitter topper is gorgeous on the lid too!

Eyeshadow: Tarteist pro to go (available *here and here) ($30CAD)

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I grabbed this as an opportunity to try out tarte shadows without committing to a full palette. I have been eyeing the full *Tarteist pro Amazonian Clay palette since I first saw it on snapchat and trendmood. I love the idea of beautiful matte shades with a couple of intense foiled/metallic/glittery shadows. As I am no longer 20 and definitely have some texture on my eyelids, I find myself gravitating more towards mattes, and also appreciating a more well made foiled shadow. This small palette was exactly what I wanted. It let me play with the Tarte amazonian clay formulas without making a huge cash commitment. I absolutely love the feel of these shadows. They are insanely pigmented and so very soft. They do have a fair bit of kick up, but I am fine with that. The gold shade, hype, is absolutely freaking STUNNING. Seriously. It has surpassed *Urban Decay’s Half Baked as my all time favourite gold shadow. The mattes are smooth and blend beautifully and both foiled shades steal my magpie heart. I also love how trendy the colours are. Warm tones are in, folks, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This is a great way to try them out.

L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow pot in 892 Amber Rush (available *here and here) ($8-12CAD)

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I picked this colour up after hearing about it from several influencers on youtube and am so glad that I did. It is the perfect warm rose gold shade that everyone is super into right now. The infallible eyeshadows have a really interesting creamy formula that apply best with a finger (I blend it out with a synthetic brush). This shade is beautifully reflective and is fantastic for a middle of the lid pop or a super quick single eyeshadow look (which is what I’ve been doing lately). They last a long time and don’t crease on me. Keep the lids shut tight though, as they do dry out if you don’t.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Barely Beige and Bronze Truffle (available *here and *here) ($7-12CAD)

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As much as I love the warmth and the sunshine that comes with spring time, I have a really hard time with this season. I have allergies which cause my eyes to water like mad. My eyeshadow almost always gets creased or washed away as a result, which is incredibly frustrating and not at all attractive. These have been my saviour. I’ve been using these as either a base for my other shadows or as the main colour itself. They are waterproof and really do stick around. I especially enjoy using Barely Beige on the inner part of my lid, near the inner corner, as it brightens up any look and locks down in the area where I get the most tears. They are super easy to use and give good colour pay off. They set quickly though, so blend out (with your finger or a synthetic brush) not long after application.

Eyeliner: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kajal in 005 Nude (available *here and here) ($7CAD)

Thanks to the never ending germ parade of junior kindergarten, the kids have been sick since the fall. No, really. It’s been brutal. As a result, I haven’t been getting much sleep at all. Add to that those aforementioned allergies and my eyes have been looking ROUGH lately. One of the ways I make my eyes look more awake and less desperate is by using a nude liner on my waterline to cancel out the redness. I’ve tried a few different ones, but the Rimmel Scandaleyes nude liner is my favourite. It goes on without tugging, cancels out the red and stays put.

Physican’s Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Liquid Liner and Serum in Ultra Black (available *here and here) ($15CAD)

Taylor from thataylaa on youtube talks about this liner all the time, so I decided to give it a shot. I am in love! It is by far my favourite liquid liner. I only wish it was waterproof, as I can’t wear this when my allergies are flaring up without ending up looking like a hot mess. The brush is long and thin, making it easy to lay down flat to cheat on my lines, and gives a nice precise wing. It’s super black and pigmented, which means I don’t need to go over my lines and risk ending up with massive wings of my goth days of high school. I enjoy that the formula has a built in lash serum, though I will say I haven’t noticed any difference in my lashes so far.

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Eyebrows: NYX micro brow pencil in Ash Brown (available *here, *here, and here) ($17CAD)

I was very reluctant to get on the brow love train. I just didn’t want to spend the time or the energy on getting my brows just right. Somehow, over the past year, I have been changing my ways and now it’s difficult for me to go out without something on my brows. When I’m looking to really go in and do my brows, this pencil is my favourite method. I love how fine it is. I’m able to create really thin hair like lines that blend in to my natural brows perfectly. The formula is stiff enough that it doesn’t just melt and smear all over the place, while being creamy enough that I’m not having to work too hard. I especially enjoy this colour as it is nice and cool toned without being too gray. As an added bonus, the attached spoolie is fantastic and really grabs those hairs to make blending easy.

Liquid Lipstick: Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose (available *here and *here) ($5-11CAD)

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Another trend that I’ve been slow to has been matte liquid lipsticks. I have SUPER dry lips. It doesn’t matter how much I exfoliate, how I prep or prime them, these babies flake and crack every single day. Despite that, I have fallen for these incredibly affordable liquid lipsticks by Wet N Wild. The shade Rebel Rose is pigmented and smooth. I don’t need to layer it a bunch to get an opaque application, which means I am able to avoid the crumbles that sometimes comes with cheap liquid lipsticks. I don’t find it drying at all. It it very matte and lasts a while without falling apart on me. This specific shade is GORGEOUS and is my current fave for a really pretty rosey natural look.

Setting Spray: Pixi Skintreats Hydrating Milky Mist (available *here, here and here) ($20-30CAD)

I think I’ve been using facial mists and sprays for longer than most other makeup items. I used to be obsessed with this honey based one out of a small independent shoppe in Calgary. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for an equally moisturizing spray that didn’t grease me up or ruin my makeup. I have finally found it! I use this as a makeup setting spray as a way to add just a little bit of moisture, make my highlight pop and to get rid of any powdery residue. It doesn’t really make my makeup last any longer, but that’s ok. I also like using this at night to lock in my night time routine.

OTHER

Delectable skin perfecting body bronzing lotion (available *here, *here, and here) ($10-20CAD)

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I haven’t had much luck with many other Delectable or Cake products, so I was a little unsure about trying this. The reviews were really great so I decided to give it a shot. It is such a nice body makeup that also doubles as a lotion. It gives a really nice warm bronzing and glow to the body. It does have glitter in it, but I don’t find that it translates as anything more than shimmer on the skin. I love using this on my arms, legs and shoulders this time of year when I want to fake a bit of sun kissed skin.

L’oreal Infallible Blend Artist Sponge (available *here and here) ($10CAD)

I love my beauty blender and Real Techniques sponge so I didn’t think I’d enjoy this as much as I did. It becomes GIANT when you wet it. It’s super soft and feels great on the skin. It doesn’t suck up a ton of product and really does a great job of blending foundation. No complaints here!

Aveda be curly curl enhancer (available *here , here and here) ($30-40CAD)

After my attempt at the curly girl method of hair care, I’ve decided to go back to my old routine. This is a staple of my curly hair routine. It’s a really lovely curl cream that helps fight frizz, gives me soft definition without crunch. I love the whole aveda be curly line and highly recommend it to everyone with curls or waves.

SKIN CARE

Etival Hydra boost serum (available only in store)

This was another Shoppers deal. Usually in the $30+ range, I snagged this for $5! It’s a really lovely hydrating serum that I use at night. I’ve noticed my skin has been feeling plumper and my dry patches are way less common. I wish I could find it online for you, but I fear this is being discontinued :/

Benefit Puff Off Instant Eye Gel (available *here and *here) ($CAD)

With my allergies and lack of sleep, my undereyes can sometimes be super puffy and unhappy. This great gel and applicator really help reduce the puffiness and make makeup glide on. I love it even more when I remember to store it in the fridge for extra coolness.

Bioderma Sebium Gel Moussant Purifying cleansing foaming gel (available here and here) ($10-20CAD)

This time of year my skin goes more on the combination side of things, so while I love my usual cleansers, I like to mix this in to my routine to  help deal with my oiliness and the heaviness of my sunscreen. It cleans my face beautifully without stripping the skin.

The Before…

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The After…

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The disclaimer: These are products that just didn’t work out for me. If you love them, please don’t be insulted. Our skin, colouring and tastes are different. Different tastes is what makes the world so interesting :) Also, just because I don’t like a specific product doesn’t mean I don’t like the brand.

Benefit Gimme Brow in shade 1. I thought I loved this for a long time. Unfortunately, I see now that it just don’t have the hold that I need from a brow gel and it doesn’t do enough filling to make it a good quick and easy stand alone product.

Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray: I wanted to love this. I am a drugstore girl at heart. That said, I don’t enjoy the spray (camel spit, very wet). I haven’t noticed it extending my makeup. There are just better options out there.

Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer: I snagged this at Shopper’s Drug Mart for a crazy discounted price (under 5$), so I really shouldn’t complain..but here we are. I just don’t see this primer doing anything for me. My makeup doesn’t stick around any longer, doesn’t apply any smoother and my skin doesn’t look any better. Womp womp.

Say Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes: I’m trying to be better to my skin and give up using baby wipes to remove my makeup. I grabbed these are they are marketed as being ideal for sensitive skin. Well, firstly I didn’t find them soothing. They sting my skin and my eyes, and they are heavily scented. Also, they aren’t great at removing make up at all. Not a fan.

Ok everyone, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed checking out all of my faves from the last few months! Comment below what you love for this warmer weather!

REVIEW: August 2016 Boxycharm

You guys, you should see my house right now. No, actually, it’s for the best you can’t. I really should be cleaning and getting us ready for my baby to start JK this coming week. Instead, I am in total denial and refusing to face reality. Time for a boxycharm review!!

The theme for August’s box was “Express Yourself”

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Yep, this month I was super excited to try everything out. Such a great collection of things!

Dirty Little Secret Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick (10$USD): I was a little nervous to pull this one out of the box. My lips are so dry that I try to stay away from matte liquid lipsticks. Add to that the colour of this one…a definite orangey red. Well, lets just say I have been drinking tea and coffee multiple times a day for half my life, so my teeth don’t need any help at looking yellow.   The packaging is adorable though, and I am not one to back down from a colour.I was pleasantly surprised by the texture. This didn’t feel drying and it went on really smoothly. It was a little patchy on me, which meant I needed to layer up in some areas.

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I wore this out of the house and after one cup of coffee and a greasy lunch, this was finit.

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Yeah, not my favourite look. This is less than 2 hours after application. I would not recommend this without a lip liner and making sure you bring the lipstick along with you to touch up.

Makeup Eraser AmpliMascara ($23USD): Mama loves herself some mascara. I love trying different formulas. It makes such an instant difference in a look. This mascara intrigued me. It calls itself a serum and claims to really amp up the volume and length. As with all mascaras that I try, I gave it a few days and a few different application methods before writing this review. I tried one layer, two layers, layered on dry and layered on wet.

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Unfortunately, this one and my lashes just did not go well together. I didn’t notice much of anything to be honest. The colour is a little too muted for my taste and I just didn’t get the length OR volume I was hoping for.

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After wearing it for the day, my eyes got really itchy and sore, so I am passing it along to my sister to try. Hopefully it works out better for her. Also, a quick note: When I looked into the product, the Magic Eraser website only lists a two step product, so I wonder if maybe this is only part of the set? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Pure Cosmetics Waterproof Lip Liner: I was actually pretty happy to see this. After getting red lipstick recently, I realized I needed a red lip liner to make them stay put. Unfortunately, this one isn’t quite the shade I was hoping for. This is actually a pretty nice brown red/burnt red. I think it’ll be great for fall, but I’m not sure the tone is completely me. I love how creamy it is, and how easy that made the application. I did find that it wanted to stay put.

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Aloette Time Repair Serum ($48USD): I love skincare, so I was pretty excited about this. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference so far, but it’s only been a couple weeks and I can’t say that I use it twice a day like they suggest. I do like the thin texture and how quickly it absorbs.

And finally, the big exciting item in this box:

Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Pallet with Brush: Yay another pallet!! I was very excited about this, especially because I’ve been finding myself really into blush, highlight and bronzer lately. This pallet includes one matte blush, one shimmer blush, one highlight, one matte bronzer and one bronzer with a sheen, as well as a brush.

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First I’ll start with the big negative. The brush really did nothing for me. It wasn’t big enough or soft enough for my taste. I don’t see myself using it again. The actual powders were ok. The blushes were pigmented and pretty. A girlfriend told me she thought I had used a cream blush by how beautifully it sat on the skin. The bronzers are pretty warm and dark for me, but they are easy to blend if you go lighthanded. The highlight was pretty meh, unfortunately. It was too shimmery to use as a matte under eye powder, but too subtle to use as a cheek highlight for me.

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I’m debating passing this one on. I do like the blushes though…maybe I’ll de-pot?

augboxy7So that’s it for this month. While not a ton of these items were super “Me”, I did enjoy trying new things (and colours). Looking forward to September’s boxycharm! I hear there’s another eyeshadow pallet!

REVIEW: August 2016 Topbox

Sorry for going quiet again, you guys. I’m struggling a bit these days (as anyone who follows my snapchat or instagram can attest). I’m going to push through, though, and get back to some reviews.

This Month’s Topbox arrived, and I was a little disappointed. I had requested a tube, as my kids love to play with them and they can easily be repurposed. The mesh bags, on the other hand, sit around taking up space. Well, looks like it was a mesh bag for me. Oh well.

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Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer: First thing, I was pretty excited to see this primer. I’ve only ever tried the original smashbox primer and enjoy it. I was surprised to see this primer is coloured. I actually checked the tube to make sure I didn’t confuse my products. It went on smoothly and felt nice on the skin. Unfortunately, it seemed to aggravate my dry patches pretty badly, and flared up the eczema on the bridge of my nose, and on my upper lip. It may have made my pores look good, but it seemed to make my dry skin look way more noticable. A definite pass for me. (Also, holy crap price tag. $51?!)

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer and Highlighter Duo: Right off the bat, I was not super impressed with this. The bronzer is shimmery (not my fave) and DARK for me. The highlighter was dark too. I really didn’t think it would work on my very fair skin. The pan is pretty small and I worry with split pans like this that the bronzer is going to muddy up the highlight over time. Anyway, the product description boasts that you can use it as an eyeshadow too, so I decided to try it all out.

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Splotchy and patchy AF

Yeah, not happy. The bronzer was hella patchy and dark. It took me forever to blend that shit out. The highlight was surprisingly pretty, but not enough for me to ever think about buying this.

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Paired with L’Oreal Infallible Amber Rush all over the lid.

As eyeshadows these actually did a beautiful job, so I’m thinking about keeping it for that purpose.But then, do I need a shimmery brown and peach? Not really. Overall, another womp womp for me. ($27.68 CAD)

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Me, out in the sunshine. Unfortunately, the bronzer as an eyeshadow didn’t stay put and smudged under my eyes. Jerk Bronzer

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A few hours later. Sort of still bronzed. Highlight is no where to be found.

Novex Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Hair Mask: I am really imperssed by the size of this sample. You get quite a bit of product here. Now, unfortuantely, it’s one product I probably won’t really use. I mean, as I said last month, I am OVER FREAKING ARGAN OIL. Seriously, it’s in every damn box/bag/tube all the freaking time. I have more damn argan oil stuff than I will ever get through. Despite that, I gave it a try. From my reading, it’s basically just a deep conditioner. You add it to wet clean hair, let sit for 3 minutes and rinse. I did and it felt ok. I’ll use it once a week or so and report back if I think of it, but right now, meh. ($6.57 CAD)

Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Night Capsules: I am on a big skincare kick right now (sudden realization that OMG I’M GETTING OLD AND HAVE WRINKLES AND SUN DAMAGE), so this was probably the most exciting part of this month’s topbox. There is something super appealing about squishing these little capsules. The product itself feels very nice and much like a silicone primer. Unfortunately, I found that this aggravated my ezema, so I have to be very careful where I apply it. I didn’t notice any lifechanging effects, but I will use these up 4 squishies for sure. ($110.25 CAD) 

So, that’s it this month. Unfortunately, as you can probably tell, I’m not super impressed. Everything was kind of a fail and made my skin really really unhappy. Here’s hoping next month is better. One really great and redeeming extra was a coupon tucked in the bag. It was for a free eyebrow styling and wax. YAS. Mama needs this. For those of you who don’t know, I have some vision limitations. My vision isn’t great without my glasses and my eyes have a really hard time looking in a specific direction up close. Namely, I can’t look at my left brow very well. I have to groom that one brow pretty much blind. So, having the ability to have someone else do my brows is AWESOME. Thanks Topbox!

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Review: CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream and Super Sizer Fibers Mascara.

BzzAgent spoiled me again. For my new readers who may not know, BzzAgent is an amazing website that allows its members to review some amazing products. They send you the goods FOR FREE, you try ’em and let the world know what you think. Yep. They are awesome. Here’s the latest that they have sent my way to try out:

What you see above is the new CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream for Oily Skin (in Fair) and the much loved on youtube, Super Sizer Fibers Mascara (in Black).

Let’s start with the BB Cream. I was nervous about trying this one. For those of you who may not know, I have extremely dry, sensitive skin and eczema. The word “matte” normally has me hiding behind my face oils. Add to that “For Oily Skin” and you can guarantee I won’t be picking it up. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pick it up! #gotitfree y’all! I tried a few different methods of application, as well as different bases to see how well it would apply, hold up and if it would dry me out like a raisin.

So, here’s what it looks like with moisturizer and sunscreen underneath, applied with a brush

Here is is on top of just sunscreen, applied with a Real Techniques sponge.

Here it is, on it’s own, applied with my hands.

So, here are my thoughts:

Pros

  • Gives me a beautiful airbrushed finish
  • Great coverage for a BB cream
  • Not oily or greasy at all
  • DID NOT DRY ME OUT OMG (so long as it is layered)
  • Applies beautifully over other products
  • Other products layer beautifully on top
  • Does not melt down in the heat

Cons

  • Doesn’t have it’s own SPF, which seems really weird to me considering most BB creams do
  • Doesn’t last all day, even with with primer and setting spray. I specifically notice it fades away to nothing on my chin and jaw line (where the kids grab me and I touch most)
  • Has a strange scent…sort of like wet paint?

I just love how this looks and feels on the skin. It dries down and really doesn’t need to be set at all. The finish is just beautiful, especially when I layer it on top of moisturizer and sunscreen. My skin ends up looking flawless.

I really expected this to be a disaster for me and my skin. I am so pleasantly surprised. This is my new favourite drug store BB Cream.

Ok, on to the mascara.

If you are a fan of beauty youtubers as much as I am, you have heard of this mascara. People LOVE the original Super Sizer mascara and really seem to love the Fibers version just as much. Youtuber Emily Noel has a lot of praise for it.

I was so hopeful. In fact, when I told my sister that I was doing this campaign with BzzAgent, I told her that I expected to love the mascara and that the BB cream would be a disaster. Oh, how wrong I was.

I don’t know if it’s just user error or what, but I just can’t get this brush to work for me. I end up with clumpy meh lashes. I hardly get any real volume, no length and if I do a second layer, a really heavy gross feeling. I tried this every day for a week. I tried it with curled lashes, straight lashes, before and after powders, I tried it layered wet and layered dry. I just couldn’t find the love.

Thank you again to BzzAgent for the opportunity to try these products. It goes to show that until you try something, you never really know whether it will work for you. The results with these two products were completely different than what I expected.

Do you have a favourite BB Cream? Any other dry girls love a matte product? What about the mascara – am I alone in not being able to make it work?

July 2016 Topbox and Boxycharm Reviews

It has been a great month for trying new products here in Heatherland. One of my favourite ways to get my hands on a bunch of different things is the glorious subscription box! In my case, my sister has gifted me with a subscription to Topbox and Boxycharm. I have been doing snapchat unboxings and have now had some time to play with the products a bit. Here are my thoughts. To see me wearing all of the following products, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

July’s Topbox

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Cost: 12$ CAD/month

This month I opted for the tube, rather than the mesh bag. I also received a note from topbox with a bit of news. Because of the fear of a postal strike here in Canada, they were including an extra product. Woo! Also, they were switching over to email cards, so instead of a card explaining values and contents coming in the package, we would get our box info by email instead. Good to know. Here’s what I got:

TheFaceShop Character Face Mask in Pig: Oh man, this was awesome to get. Who doesn’t love a good sheet mask, right? Add to that the terrifying image of a pig face, and you have a very happy Heather. This was a honey based moisture mask (why the pig face then?). My children were both horrified and amused (as was Pat) and my skin felt pretty good afterwards. I would definitely use this again. (4$ value)

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Be Delectable Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream: I have seen the Delectable brand in the drug store but never really tried it out due to my sensitive dry skin. I have received their Everything Balm in my Rachhloves Topbox and liked it, but didn’t love it. Because of that I was a little meh about getting this. That said, the sample size is AWESOME. Like, this looks full size to me. I love the coconut scent, and the texture is nice. It’s not too greasy and actually does a decent job of moisturizing my hands. I find myself reaching for this over some of my other hand creams. (12$ value)

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara: WOO! I really enjoy this mascara. I’ve been using it for a few years now. I found this sample was a little drier than my regular full sized mascara, so that was a little odd. It still did a great job on my lashes by adding lots of volume and some length without being overly clumpy or heavy feeling. (They list the value as being 30$, which I think is the full sized cost)

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I haven’t had the best luck with dry shampoos in the past, so I’m always happy to try a sample size. I enjoyed the scent of this one and loved that it didn’t leave a powdery residue. It gave me some good volume but the texture was a little…I don’t know. I didn’t like touching my hair once I used it. Not my favourite, but still better than most I’ve used. (29$ Value)

Value this Month: 75$ plus the extra item

Bonus Item time!

Starlooks Gem Pencil in Ultra Turquoise: I have really enjoyed all the starlooks products I’ve tried, so I was happy to see this eyeliner. It swatches BEAUTIFULLY and is super pigmented, glittery and creamy. The only negative I have to share is that the cap doesn’t really fit well, which means it dries out quickly. The first time I swatched it was like butter. The second time, a bit drier. When I went to wear it, it was a bit harder to use, which was a bummer because I was really excited to wear it. (9$USD for value on the starlooks site)

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Overall Impression of this month’s box: I was really happy with everything in here. I really do appreciate that this is a Canadian customized subscription box, which means the products are more suited to me, rather than just the general population.

July Boxycharm

Cost: $20USD

The theme of this month’s boxycharm is Modern Merbabe, which is definitely something I am into. Here’s what I got:

boxyjul4PYT Argan Oil Hair Oil Treatment: I like hair oils, so I was pretty happy to see this. Opening it up, I was a little dismayed that it doesn’t have a closed dispenser, I can see myself spilling or pouring too much product, which isn’t ideal. Also, this is HEAVILY perfumed. Like, intensely. The scent itself is also really masculine. It reminds me a lot of aftershave. Thankfully it doesn’t stick around too long in the hair. My hair felt soft and silky after using it, and I did notice a shine as well. (30$ Value)

Noyah Lip Gloss: I was pumped when I saw this out of the box. The packaging is gorgeous. I love the bamboo handle. The colour is bright and bold, though applies quite sheer. It can be built up though. This is going into my purse immediately. So perfect for the summer. Glossy without being sticky. (16$ value)

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Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush:  One can never have too many blending brushes. Fluffy and pretty soft (just a little scratchy, but not enough for me to hate), I’m happy with the way this performs. I wish it was longer, but the pink is pretty. Mine arrived dented and scratched, but it doesn’t effect the use. (15$ Value)

OFRA Pallet and 6 Eyeshadows: Whoa. This is definitely the star of this month’s box. I don’t have any other magnetic pallets yet, so this was super exciting for me. The shadows themselves are a good selection of neutrals. 3 are matte, and 3 are shimmers. I have to say I don’t love the matte shades. They are a bit patchy, the lightest one has zero payoff and I found they kicked up a LOT of powder the second your brush touches them. The shimmers are lovely though. Far more creamy and way more pigmented. The colours themselves are a bit off for me. The medium matte shade is more orange than I like, and the lightest shimmer shade wears a lot more green than I expected. I wouldn’t pay the 10$ price tag that OFRA has on these, especially considering Makeup Geek and MAC are cheaper. (59$ Value)

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Value this month: 120$! That’s awesome.

Overall Impression: I was really excited when I opened this box. While only the lip gloss was a true win for me, I am happy to try the other products some more and see if I can’t make them work better for me. I always need more blending brushes, so even though it’s not the best out there, the Mally brush is a welcome addition to my collection. The OFRA shadows are a bit disappointing, but the shades are great and they are usable. The pallet makes up for the matte shades for sure, and for the value, I am super pleased.

 

Here is the look I put together with these two boxes:

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boxyjul2I’m wearing the following:

Face – Maybelline Masterprime in Illuminate, Bourjois Healthy Serum foundation in Vanille, Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer in Brightening, NYC Loose Powder in Transluscent. Physicians Formula blush in Happy Booster, Cougar Beauty highlight powder.

Eyes: Essence Give Me Brow in blonde, OFRA shadows, Better than Sex mascara, Starlooks Gel Liner.

Lips: Noyah Lipgloss.

Review: June Boxycharm

For those of you who are new to my blog, June is a crazy time of year for my family. There are a ton of birthdays, anniversaries, events, etc…keeping us very busy. Included in that craziness is my own Birthday. This year I turned 33, and to spoil me my amazing sister offered to get me a beauty subscription. I used to get ipsy, but funds got too tight and I was never really that impressed with my bags. We had discussed Birchbox, but then they stopped shipping to Canada. I had then chosen Topbox but got waitlisted. So, we were waiting.

And waiting…and then, we saw this video of Kathleen Lights doing her June Boxycharm Unboxing.  She wraps up the video by saying that Boxycharm was now shipping to Canada!!

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 START THE CAR

Thankfully, we ordered early enough to get me the June box. I posted an unboxing on snapchat (I’m iatheather if you want to add me. Did you guys like that? Should I keep doing that, or post it to youtube instead?). I have since tried everything out and want to share with you my thoughts.

If you’re interested in trying out Boxycharm, here’s my referral link to get you started. Please feel free to ignore it and go to the main website, though I do appreciate your support if you do go through my referral link.

What I got:

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Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask Boxycharm Exclusive

I really enjoy sheet masks, but hadn’t tried a gel one before. It has a slightly disturbing texture, but feels lovely and cooling on the skin. The one thing that I didn’t really like was the fit of the mask itself. It didn’t quite work with my face shape and as a result I found I was fiddling with it a lot. Also, it seemed to slide down, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I could adjust it…but the gel kind of adheres it to your face, so when you do adjust it, the mask rips. I always like the way masks make my face feel, but after just using one of these, I can’t say I felt anything major or life changing. I do love that they included three masks.

Girlactik Precision Eyeliner Marker in black

This is my first Girlactik product! I was really excited to receive this. The tip is fine and looks like it could give a really sharp wing. I found it super easy to apply, however I found the actual line ended up needing two coats in places due to some patchiness/watery application. I also noticed that it transferred up to the lid on one eye. This could be avoided with the use of some black eyeshadow to set.

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Note the transfer

OFRA Oil Control Pressed Powder

I wasn’t super excited about this one. I have dry skin and the reviews mention that it is quite white and not the easiest to get a good application. Swatching didn’t go well. It clung to my finger in a really gross way and definitely left a white cast. Finger swatches aren’t a fair way to judge a product though, so I gave it a shot on Canada Day (I knew I would be hot and oily, so it was the perfect opportunity). I was pretty happy with this! It kept my chin and nose in check and I was able to blend it out without any serious white cast. You do need to use a fluffy brush and a light hand, but it worked well.

Cougar Beauty Mineral Face and Body Shimmer.

This was another product I was kind of meh about. Don’t get me wrong, I love my highlight, but people were reviewing it to be very yellow and not very pretty. I swatched it and was very meh about it. It didn’t seem to show up well at all. When applied to the face, it completely changes. It was a lovely white-gold glow that I am going to LOVE for the summer. I really enjoy it! This was probably my favourite product from the whole box.

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Pretty cheekbones!

OFRA Long Wear Liquid Lipstick in Pasadena

Because we ordered my box so late, I guess Boxycharm ran out of the LVX Nail polish that most people got. I’m ok with this. TBH, I’m a little sick of nail polish in boxes. I am much more into lip products. I have very dry lips, so liquid lipsticks scare me a bit. I exfoliated and gave this a go…it was instant love! It goes on feeling a little creamy and never dries down to that pulling life-sucking dry feeling that some liquid lipsticks do. I will say it did transfer a bit, even an hour or so after application. It also did not survive a hot afternoon at the fair, but it didn’t fade in a gross way or flake off. I am definitely a fan and want a bunch more of these.

Overall: I am really impressed. The products are deluxe samples or full sized, great quality and the box itself is a great deal. I wish we were about to customize it a bit more. I definitely feel a bit spoiled by boxes/bags like Ipsy and Topbox that really get to know the customer. I worry a bit about getting things like skin care, hair products or foundation in the future because they don’t have any idea of my colouring or my skin/hair type. Oh well, it’s a gamble I’m willing to take for such great quality.

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Just applied

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At the fair

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After a few hours at the fair

Review: Cover Girl and Olay 3 in 1 Foundation

A little while ago, my sister introduced me to a review site called BzzAgent. I am a sucker for reading and writing reviews, so I immediately joined. About a month ago, I was notified that I was going to participate in a new campaign by Covergirl, called Embrace Your Face.

When I used the tool, it told me that I should be using the Covergirl and Olay Simply Ageless 3 in 1 foundation. I was a bit unsure, because I had heard that it was a pretty heavy foundation for those with mature skin. I am in denial of my age, but I figured that since it would be a free product, I wouldn’t have anything to loose. You guys know, I love me some make up, so I was pretty stoked.

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I have since received the foundation and have given it about 2 weeks of wear before sitting down and writing this review out. I hope you like it!

My Foundation Background: For my new readers, I have sensitive dry and dehydrated skin. I have eczema, which does flare up on my face. When testing this foundation, I have dry patches on the bridge of my nose. I hate the feel of heavy sticky wet foundations and HAVE to powder, despite my dry skin.

Before:

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As you can see, I have some intense under eye dark circles, some wrinkles, some face demons and discolouration. Weeee!

Application: To test the buildability and coverage, I’m not going to use any concealer. I prep my face with my moisturizer, sunscreen and some Smashbox Primer.

Immediately, I can tell that this stuff is THICK. I  use two pumps and a few drops of face oil to thin it out.

After the first application, you can see the classic ivory shade is pretty good for me. This foundation is definitely medium to full coverage. A little bit of my under eye and face demons are poking through, but otherwise, I am completely evened out.

I decide to do another layer, to really test the buildability.

Holy crap, you guys. This stuff is no joke. That, my dears, is what I call full coverage.

Ok, time to do my brows, eyes, blush and lip…oh, and highlight. Can’t forget that glow. Going for a no make up makeup look. It’s hot as heck and very humid, so I want to look a little less done.

Let me know if you want the rest of my details for the finished look. I’d like to remind you that I’m not wearing any concealer. All of this coverage is the foundation.

Finish: Definitely needs powder to set. This stuff is thick, creamy and very dewy. I could still feel it on the skin after setting. It never dries down.

Coverage: Medium to full, buildable.

Lasting Power: Unfortunately, the heat, humidity and grabby baby hands made this wear off on the chin pretty much within the first hour, and that is with setting spray. The rest of my face fared better, and I didn’t notice any oxygenation or breaking down. I did have some slight under eye creasing, but that’s it. Here’s a shot from the other day when we hit the 40s with humidex.

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Overall Impression: I am pleasantly surprised by this foundation. I honestly expected to hate it. Despite it feeling wet and heavy, it was moisturizing and its performance made it so worth it. I think it may be too heavy for summer wear, but this will be amazing for the winter time. For it’s price point, this is such a great foundation. Just make sure to set it well, and blend it well to avoid a cakey look. If blended, it looks fresh and natural, despite it’s amazing coverage.

**Thanks to BzzAgent for sending this foundation to me, for free, to review. This post is not sponsored. I have not been paid to review. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.**

Review: November Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Beauty Blast

Bag: The cosmos! Man, I love this bag. It’s gorgeous. The colours are perfect.

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The Loot:

 

China Glaze in Travel in Colour

This is the one item I haven’t had a chance to try yet. My baby shower was a trip to a fantastic nail spa, so I wasn’t about to ruin my professionally done nails for the sake of a review. Sorry <3 I will say the colour kind of looks meh to me. It’s sort of a yellowy base which I hope dries more clear. The shimmer is gorgeous though. It’s pink, blue and purple iridescence. I love it. Once my nails are done I’ll give it a shot and let you know what I think.

 

 

Crown Brush Deluxe Pointed Crease Brush

I was actually excited about this one. Mama loves her brushes and I love playing with colours in my crease. Unfortunately this one felt a little cheap to me. The size was just a wee bit too small and the bristles were just a little too flimsy.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara

I have received this before and enjoyed it, so I was anticipating the same this time. That said, I’ve also tried a fair number of other mascaras since I last used this and honestly, it was just sort of ok. I still prefer my They’re Real or Better Than Sex. It does an ok job, I just felt like I really needed to layer to get oomph. It does do a good job of lengthening and separating though.

Coolway Stronghold Spray

I was actually really happy with this product. I used it on both wet and dry hair for blow drying my bangs, air drying my curls and then touching them up with a curling iron. My hair had great volume and hold. It didn’t quite beat the frizz, but I’m still pretty happy with the results. The fragrance is pretty nice for a hair spray too.

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My look, before the gel liner

Beaute Basics Gel Eyeliner with Eyeliner Brush

I was excited about this one when I first saw it was going to be included. I wish it was in black or a metallic. The navy was ok, but it wasn’t quite as dark as I was hoping. Application was ok. The gel was a little thick,  but I figured it out. Unfortunately, my eyes HATED it. I had bad swelling afterwards. Not good. Definitely not going to use it again.

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My look, with the gel liner. 

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The next day, no makeup to show you the swelling on my eye. Ouch.

Over-all Review of the Bag: Better than last month, for sure. The bag alone made me happy to receive this month. The products themselves were ok. The sizing of the samples were mostly good. I wish there were more exciting brands, but china glaze and smashbox is a good start considering. I’m bummed that I had a skin reaction, but that happens when you have sensitive skin.

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My full look with these products for my Baby Shower

And, a quick note to wrap everything up: I am now 9 months pregnant and could have baby any time. This means I can’t guarentee when or if I will be doing any more ipsy reviews. I haven’t decided how long I’ll keep this subscription either. Once things get settled with baby I will definitely bring back reviews, but please don’t get your hopes up for one next month. I’ll do my best, but family comes first.

Review: Ipsy May Glam Bag

Theme: Jet Setter

Ipsy May Glam Bag and Contents

Bag: Meh? It’s a canvas bag with a cute image, but honestly, it’s not my style.

The Loot:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone and two Bonus Revolution High Colour Lip Glosses (in Failbait and Bittersweet)

I was sooooo excited to see something from Urban Decay in this bag. I love me some UD. I haven’t used any of their lip products before, so I was pleased to test them out. The pencil itself was sort of ok. I expected better glide. Instead, it felt sort of…beeswax-y? Maybe my lips were in really rough shape and just shredded it. I don’t know. It was sticky and not really great for me.

Now, the colours I liked. They were fun! Failbait is a great neutral pink for me and I would totally wear it regularly. Bittersweet is purple. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I had fun with it. I can totally see it being amazing for a night out. It was a bit much for my day to day play-date and grocery shopping lifestyle though. The formula is ok. I liked the sheen, but I found it a bit sticky. Seemed to last a while though, which is great.

Ipsy Bag - demonstrating the purple "bittersweet" lipgloss

Bellapierre Cosmetics Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner in black

I used to be that girl that never left the house without a heavy dose of black eyeliner. I still have a fondness for the stuff, though I don’t wear it much at all anymore. I really like the longevity of the formula. It really does stick around. That said, I found it a bit soft, so getting a good cat’s eye isn’t easy with this one. Definitely better for just basic lines and smudging. I don’t know that I would ever go out looking for this specific liner again, but it will serve me well while I have it.

Pixi by Petra Beauty Bronzer

I am not really a bronzer girl. I am super pale and rather than tanning, I freckle. Bronzer has a tendency to look either orange or sort of…dirty on me. That said, I am up for trying anything. The formula itself was actually quite nice. It was smooth and silky, and went on really really easily. I was able to blend it out without any issues. The colour was a little brown for me, but I can see it being good for summer evenings. I looooove the size of the sample. This was a full sized product. I appreciate that.

Luxie Beauty Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205

I love brushes. Somehow, despite my love and my collection, I don’t have a decent blending brush. I was excited to give this one a try. First, I love the pink and bronze colouring. Super pretty. The brush is soft and did a fantastic job of blending my eyeshadow. This is definitely going into regular rotation.

Bare Republic Naturals SPF 30 Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion

Because I’m so incredibly pale and come from a background of Irish, Scottish and Ukrainian folk, keeping my skin safe is a big deal for me. I am always looking for new face sunscreens that don’t set off my eczema and don’t make me break out or feel like I’m wearing 10lbs of lard on my cheeks. I was super impressed by this lotion. It goes on like silk, and absorbs pretty quickly. My makeup went on top without any streaking or issues. I loved it! I’m sad that we no longer have a target here where I can pick this up.

My Ipsy may glam bag look

Overall, I really liked this month’s bag. I had quite a few hits in this one. I hope that one of these days I get the dry shampoo, but otherwise, I think I got the best of the selection of items this month. Did you get an ipsy bag this month? What did you think of what you got?

Review: Ipsy April Glam Bag

Theme: Beautifully Bohemian. Man, was I excited about this. Boho is my jam.

April Ipsy Glam Bag

The Bag: I get what they were going for here, but I just don’t dig the look. I wish they had done for more of a patchwork look. The colours on this bag don’t read boho to me. I don’t see myself keeping this one.

The Loot:

Julie G Nail Colour in Damsel

Man, I was not sure about this colour when I saw it in my sneak peek. Was I ever wrong! This colour is perfect for spring. It is rich and fresh and I just love it. The product itself was great too. It has great coverage, and the applicator was great. I am definitely a fan.

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Aromachology Sophisticated & Sensual Floral Eau de Parfum

I love perfume samples. Love them. I adore smelling pretty and samples give me the opportunity to do so without a huge investment. This specific perfume is lovely. It’s citrusy, floral and fresh. It’s pretty without being too heavy and sultry. On me it gets warmer, which is great because in the bottle it smells a little soapy. Now, I’m not sure if this specific scent is what I would call boho. I was expecting something more…incensey, with sandlewoods or patchouli, you know? I’m glad I got it, I just don’t know if it fits the theme. I am very happy with the size of the sample. I’ll get lots of wear out of it.

Lather Ultra Light Face Lotion

I’m getting the feeling that Ipsy really really wants me to moisturize. Well, fine then. Let’s give it a shot. I loved the lightness of this lotion. It absorbed in right away and was completely non-greasy. The scent is lovely too and makes me think of roses. I would definitely use this one again

theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Dude Eyeshadow Single in Flirty

I was hoping to get this shade! I have to say, the formula is great. It has good coverage and shine. The colour is perfect for my crease, especially with the colours I typically use. I was pretty disappointed in the size of the shadow. It is TINY. Definitely not full sized.

Starlooks Satin finish lip gloss

Ok, I have to say I was not excited about this gloss. It looked kind of meh. The colour ended up being a perfect neutral for me. It’s perfect for more of a natural or heavy eye look. Did not expect to love it like I do! This one is going to live in my purse. The one thing I will say is that it is kind of sticky, but I can handle that.

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Sorry if I look a little blah in this month’s look. I have been sick for a while now and did the best I could considering the sinus infection. So, overall, I really enjoyed this month’s glam bag. The colours and formulas are great for me. I am a little disappointed in how they fit with the theme, but I’m a bit of a dork like that.