Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ecotools, Real Techniques, Montagne Jeunesse, COLAB

If you've ever wandered over to the makeup isles at Walmart or London Drugs these products might look familiar to you. But if you haven't, there are some cool brands that are worth checking out. I recently tried out items from EcoTools, Real Techniques, Montagne Jeunesse and COLAB and here to share what I think! 

Brushes- Ecotools and Real Techniques


From EcoTools, I received the Large Powder Brush ($9.99 available at Walmart). This is my first brush from EcoTools although I have spotted in the drugstore many times before. The bristles in this are soooo soft and very flexible. I mainly use this with shimmery bronzers when I want to warm up the entire face. I can also imagine this would be amazing with the Hourglass ambient powders! 

I like how it's made with bamboo & recycled materials, and the price range is fantastic too (mostly under $10). The brush is designed for setting face makeup and it does an excellent job. EcoTools also has a collection of bath accessories and hair brushes and I'm definitely going to check those out next time I'm in London Drugs.


From Real Techniques I received the Sculpting Brush ($13.99 available at Walmart, London Drugs). This is a newer brush that's designed to create defined contours and can be used with creams and powders. The bristles are very soft and densely packed! I've mainly used it for powder bronzers and it worked well to fit right under my cheekbones! 

For some reason, the brush I received had quite a bit of shedding and a couple of hairs sticking out at weird angles. I've ordered my own set of Real Techniques brushes from The Shopping Channel earlier this summer and all three brushes did not have this problem. So I'm not sure if it's just this particular one, let me know if you have Real Techniques brushes.

Facial Masks- Montagne Jeunesse



I've seen Montagne Jeunesse (available at Walmart, London Drugs) masks on some other beauty blogs but it's my first time trying this. The brand focuses on natural ingredients and never tests on animals. Each of these had different scents and are suppose to have slightly different benefits for the skin. I'm very used to sheet masks so I found the process of applying and washing off clay a bit of a hassle. 

Creamy Coconut- This smells exactly like how it sounds, coconut! I'm not personally a fan so the experience wasn't as nice but if you like coconut, give this a try! Quite hydrating and the mask does not dry up on the face.

Fruit Smoothie- This was more my cup of tea in terms of scent with a blend of tropical fruits such as mango and peach. However, the texture of this is harder to spread and it dried up quickly on my face. It's suppose to be deep pore cleansing but I didn't notice any difference to the size of my pores.

Clean-Up Mud- I have not tried this one yet but it has a blend of Aloe, Willow, Rosemary and Witch Hazel to combat blemishes on the skin. I don't suffer too much from breakouts, so I'm waiting to see if it's effective next time I'm having some problem areas.


I find that the portion are quite big and it's enough to cover my face at least 2 times. I would still probably pass on these in the future though because it takes me about 3 minutes to apply and then 5 minutes to wash it off completely. I just prefer the convenience of sheet masks and these didn't do anything spectacular for my skin. I do commend the company in putting in large amounts of effort on staying natural and procuring quality ingredients. And I love that these are single use (technically you can use these multiple times) packages!

Dry Shampoo- COLAB


Next up are the COLAB dry shampoos ($5.49 at London Drugs). As a girl with long hair, I can always appreciate a good dry shampoo to get me through the non-wash days. 

The sheer invisible version is in the scent Rio Tropical and has a sweet fruity scent (Papaya, pineapple). The formula is quite good and it dries out any oils instantly and doesn't leave any residue. However, the scent is not my favorite. It's quite nice at first but it's a bit overpowering and I think if I repeatedly use this on "dirty hair" days, it'll leave a bad scent memory. It worked relatively well at absorbing oil, but overall I didn't find my hair looking as fresh as I hoped. 

The volume extreme version in London Classic (bergamot, musk & magnolia) is quite unique in that not only will it refresh your hair, but it will also add volume. I was skeptical but it REALLY works! It adds a bit more poof to your hair which adds to looking fresh. I sprayed some on my hand, and you can see visible product that's looks like starch which is what I assume attaches to your roots and creates volume. This does result in more white product coming out but once I brushed it out, I didn't have a problem with any white cast. Loved this and it really gave a "fresh" look for me with the added volume.

These items were sent kindly by Farleyco Marketing who is a distributor to the Canadian market that brings international brands for us to enjoy!

Have you tried any of these?

Monday, August 24, 2015

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm in #5 Mouthwatering Berry

The Canadian Beauty Bloggers are doing a series this month with a theme of "Worth the Splurge". I bought this YSL lipstick two years ago, and to date it is still one of my most prized possessions. This lipstick reflects luxury, elegance, and sophistication. Read on to see swatches & review, but spoiler, this IS WORTH THE SPLURGE!


Details: This lipstick (Glossy Balm) retails for $39 and there are currently twelve shades available on Sephora. There is 4g of product and is Made in France. 

Packaging: The packaging of this lipstick is pure elegance. The normal lipsticks have a gold colored bullet, but this one is a silver color with YSL across the middle. There is a really nice resistance when you twist up the lipstick that just feels hefty. Depending on the shade you get, the middle portion will reflect the color of the lipstick itself.



Scent: A really unique aspect of this lipstick is the scent. There is a refreshing fruity scent that is quite tropical (mangos?). Once you apply it, you can still smell it for a little bit. I actually really enjoy this!

Color: I picked this color as I thought it was both bold and wearable at the same time. There are many neutral options available as well as ones with shimmer. The thing I LOVE the most is that the finish of the color is JUICY! My lips look so hydrated and plump when I put this lipstick on. The color is sheer considering how dark this color is but honestly the amount of pigmentation is exactly what I was looking for.


Although it's in lipstick form, it is technically a tinted lip balm. Many of the colors are quite sheer, but the color I chose is deeper and I'm able to get a much better color pay off.

Here you can see a swatch of the color. It's a sheer plummy red color. You can kind of see the shine coming through on the swatch but it's more evident on my lips and in person.

You can see the shine that comes through and how healthy my lips look! It actually also feels quite hydrating and moisturizing.


After I took these photos, I realized I need to start using this again because I don't want it to go bad. I've used about half of this and I was scared I'd finish it. I remember splurging on this before I went on exchange and to reward myself for finishing my summer internship.

Some of the other colors in this line might be too sheer to warrant $39. However this shade and the feeling I get when I use it is definitely worht the splurge to me!

Do you own a YSL lipstick? Or are there items that just make you feel extra special when you use it?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review of THEFACESHOP Masks

I was really excited to try out some of THEFACESHOP Face Masks as the brand is well known for their skincare. I love sheet masks and I always stock up on them when I'm in Asia. THEFACESHOP has a huge selection of face masks starting at $2 and I've been using one each Saturday for the past three weeks. Read on for my review and thoughts!


Real Nature Face Mask- Aloe $2



Aloe  is a very popular skincare ingredient, so it's no surprise that THEFACESHOP created a mask featuring this ingredient. This mask is suppose to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin.

Scent: There's a very light  smell, and I found it fresh and "fruity". I really enjoyed it!

There's a bit of cooling when you first put it on and it's very relaxing! It's especially good during the summer months when it's hot. During the winter time, you might want to cuddle up with a blanket.

Fit of Mask: This mask was a pretty typical sheet mask. It has the cloth type of material with the serum infused. The mask was a bit big for me and extended a bit down my neck and over my hair lines. But it was able to cover all of my face.

Result: My skin felt very nourished! However, there must have been a lot of product as it left my skin a bit greasy. But a few hours later, it's feeling nice and smooth so you need to give it time to settle in.


Real Nature Face Mask- Mung Bean $2



Contrary to Aloe, I have never heard of a Mung Bean before this, and much less for skincare. This is suppose to be a clarifying mask to purify and smooth skin.

Scent: There's a very light fresh scent but nothing distinct. Once I put the mask on, I couldn't really smell anything. There is also a cooling sensation due to the serum. Very relaxing!

Fit of mask:  Same as the Aloe, the mask was a bit big for my face but I do have a pretty small face.

Result: After using it, my face felt nourished and plump! It felt like I had a lot of nutrients fed back into the skin but weirdly my skin didn't feel that smooth. 


Hydro Gel VITA B $3



This mask is using the Hydrogel technology, but I had no idea what that meant at first. When I opened it up, the mask was so slipper that it fell into my sink! I put it on my face anyways ;)

Scent: There's a very light fresh scent but nothing distinct. Once I put the mask on, I couldn't really smell anything as well.

Fit of mask? There are two pieces, a top and a bottom and that really helped the fit. I like how the mask didn't extend past my chin. The texture of the mask is quite different, on one side it's a slipper gel feel and on the other it's stitching. The fit of this was much better than normal sheet masks for me. Although the

Result: Skin felt firm and supple.  I did feel a bit sticky and tight towards the end but I think I might have left it on for too long so that there was no extra serum left.

I really enjoyed this mask!! It was extremely relaxing, the fit of the mask was wonderful and my skin felt very smooth after!




Overall, these are such good value for what you get! Considering Sephora sheet masks are usually $8+ each, these are so much worth while. I've used lots of sheet masks from Asia and usually I do it for the relaxation. I think only the Vita B Hydrogel Mask helped in the sense of skin care while the other two was good for an at home spa pampering session! 

I'd definitely recommend you to try this out as it's so nice to relax with a sheet mask on Saturday mornings especially when it's only $2! If you're wondering where to find them, I've seen THEFACESHOP in Richmond Center, Pacific Center, and Metrotown if you are in the Vancouver area. You can also browse their products online.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Anna Sui Fall 2015 Makeup Collection Swatches and Review


When I think of Anna Sui, I think of her playful, eclectic fashion designs as well as the Secret Wish perfume. For Fall 2015, Anna Sui revamped some of their makeup and came out with some cool stuff! I've never used makeup from Anna Sui before so I was really excited to give it a try.
  

Illuminating BB Cream - Light Beige
$34- 21mL
Made in Japan


The BB Cream is part of the "Magic Trick" collection in which Anna Sui introduces the secret to amazing skin. This product is suppose to act as a primer and a foundation while providing nourishing skincare. Anna Sui's products also features "Trick Powder" which are uneven powder particles that helps to cover pores for a soft focus effect.

Shades: There are only two shades available: Light Beige and Medium Beige

Coverage: The coverage of this product is very buildable. When you squeeze it out of the tube, the consistency is quite thick. But when you blend it out, the coverage definitely sheers out. I use my Real Techniques Sculpting Brush to put on this BB Cream. I tried adding a second layer and it worked really well to add more coverage.

Finish: I'd say the finish is between a matte and a satin. I love how weightless it feels and I forget I'm even wearing any foundation. When I touch my face, I do feel a bit of tackiness but if I don't touch my face, everything's weightless.

I actually have the product blended out on the left side but it blended too well I guess haha.

                                        Left: Bare face |   Right: One layer of Anna Sui BB Cream

There's a slight rose scent to the foundation but it fades after application. Unfortunately there are only two shades so it might not be for everyone. The Light shade is a bit pale on me but I can make it work with a more sheer application.

Loose Face Powder & Case - 003 Purple Lucent
$48- 18g
Made in Japan

Next in the Magic Trick collection is the loose face powder. This product aims for a quick application that leaves skin poreless and flawless. The formula includes highly moisturizing ingredients and produces a smooth consistency. Trick Powder is also in this product and zeroes in on pores where it diffuses and reflects light.

Shades: Available in Purple Lucent, Light Beige and Natural Beige.


I received Purple Lucent, and I have to say, I don't really get it. I can see how it provides a translucent finish as it smoothes the skin and gives a whitening effect. However, the powder has glittery particles in it so that under light, I can see shimmer on my skin. I would not feel comfortable putting this all over my face. The powder is finely milled but the product just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm not quite using it right but I couldn't find much online about this product.


However, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. The details are so intricate and would be absolutely beautiful on a nightstand or a vanity. I may consider putting all the powder in another container and using the Anna Sui Case as storage.


Nail Polish - N800
$15- 8mL
Made in Japan


Anna Sui’s nail polish got a revamp featuring new bell shaped design adorned with birds and daisies. There are 34 shades available in total faturing 5 different textures: Glitter, Matte Glitter, Chocolate Chip, Shimmer, and Crème.

All the nail polishes feature the rich scent of tea roses. Even the day after the application I was able to smell this.


The shade I received was N800 which is a pretty pastel yellow. I actually don't own any yellow polishes so I'm really glad to add this to the collection. The brush was easy to use and the formula was good. I used two coats and was happy with the results but I think next time I'd use three for that really shiny thick gel look.


Overall I am a big fan of the BB cream and the nail polish. The BB cream performed really well even though the shade is not a perfect match for me. The nail polish is in the prettiest color and the packaging is to die for. I'd probably pass on the loose face powder. At $48, it is pricey and more a decoration than a makeup product! Possibly the light beige/natural beige shades would be better but the Purple Lucent shade just did not work! I am planning on checking out their new lipsticks for Fall! The shape is in a star so when you twist it up it's a "shooting star" ;)


If you liked the look of these products, the Anna Sui Fall Collection will be available in September at select Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, Murale and Hudson’s Bay locations across Canada and online at thebay.com and murale.ca

Links to Related Posts
Paul & Joe Beaute Fall 2015 Collection
Amore Pacific CC Cushion Compact

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

GOSH Cosmetics Review: Eyelight Trio, Velvet Touch Eyeliner and Lipliner

Last month, I shared a review on the GOSH Forever Lip Shine lip crayons that recently came out. Today, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the GOSH Eyelight Trio, Velvet Touch Lipliner and the Velvet Touch Eyeliner.

Eyelight Trio
$16- 3.5g Made in Italy
Exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada


GOSH recently released 4 new trios in Spring 2015. The four trios feature soft and feminine color combinations. The concept in the trio is that each shadow has a different texture. It features an iridescent highlighter, a glitter shadow, and a satin to add depth. I found most of the colors quite shimmery.The concept is really cool but I think with the color combinations, it really only works for one of the compact. 

Texture: When I first went to swatch these I was amazed at how soft and buttery the shadows are! They felt like a dream!

Pigmentation: The pigmentation is medium but since some of the shades are so light, the pigmentation is quite sheer when you brush the shadows on to your eyes.


001 Three of a Kind: The first palette in this collection features three very light/soft shades. I like all of these shades individually but I don't think they work well in a palette together as there's not enough contrast to create a complete eye look.

002 Fairytale: Although the three shades in this palette is also very light, it works well to create a soft feminine eye look with the shimmery pink and purple! However this palette still wouldn't be able to create the typical "deep shade in the crease" look. I used the pink shade all over and the purple on my outer corners even though the purple shade is technically the "glitter" shade and the pink is the "depth" shade.



003 Chunky Chocolate: This is hands down my favorite palette out of the four! I would actually take this as my travelling palette as it features all the shades I need for a simple polished eye look. I really like the top shade or the middle shade all over the lid. Then the brown shade is actually a satin finish and does a great job on creating depth!

004 Vanilla Sky: This color combo is not something I would usually go towards. The two blue shades are really beautiful but I find the highlight a bit too much of a contrast and a bit ashy. 


I'm a huge fan of 003 Chunky Chocolate for a classic neutral eye in a sleek compact palette! 002 Fairytale would be fantastic if you are looking for a shimmery soft look that a lot of Asian magazines try to recreate see example here and here.

Velvet Touch Waterproof Lipliner/Eyeliner
$12/$10- 1.2g Made in Germany
Exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada


Also for Spring 2015, GOSH released some new shades for their Velvet Touch Waterproof Eyeliner and Velvet Touch Waterproof Lipliner.

For lipliners, Angel Kiss is a beautiful peachy nude while Pink Pleasure is a bright fuscia pink! Pink Pleasure goes really well with Funky Friday which is a lip crayon that I recently reviewed. The formula is fantastic! It's creamy and pigmented and lasts on the lips for hours! 

For the eyeliners, Carbon Black is a rich deep black and Temptation is an eggplant purple with a hint of glitter. Carbon black lasted 12+ hours on my upper lash line! But only about 3 hours on my water line. However, both are very creamy, soft, and no tugging was involved!


The lipliners and eyeliners are great value for it's price! The eyeshadow palettes are a bit pricier so I'd recommend 002 Fairytale for a soft shimmery look and 003 Chunky Chocolate for the perfect easy travel companion.

Wearing the lip liners on its own.

Left using 002 Fairytale and right using 003 Chunky Chocolate. Also using Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Carbon Black.


You can find these GOSH products at Shoppers Drug Mart if you are in Canada! I believe if you are in the UK, these are at Superdrug or other equivalent drugstores! What are your favorite items from GOSH cosmetics?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Finish Five by Fall Update Post

Last month my fellow CBB (Canadian Beauty Bloggers) and I started on the Finish Five by Fall challenge. It's been about 6 weeks since the tag started and I wanted to share my  progress!

Just to refresh your memory, here are the 8 (3 extras) products I selected to try and finish by September 23, 2015.



Progress


I'm really happy about the progress I made on these three items! The black doted line is where I started from (The Buxom lipgloss was full when I started). The lime green doted line is where I am as of August 1, 2015.

I should be able to finish off the two lipglosses, and I need to work on the perfume a bit harder!


The two products I haven't had that much luck with are the MAC lipstick and the Essence eyeliner. Although the lipstick color is really fun, it's quite hard to pull off. It's starting to smell not as vanilla-y so I need to use this more before I toss it come the deadline.

Unpictured:
1) Maybelline Great Lash Mascara: I'm done with this! I think it's about time that this dried out and was included in my latest empties post.

2) Benefit Bella Bamba: I used this blush a couple of times but there's been no change in the dent.

3) Maybelline BB cream: I've used this probably 10 times but it still feels half full! I'm planning on squeezing it out to a clear container soon to see how much there really is!


Let me know how your progress is going! Or if you are not participating in Finish Five by Fall, is there any products you are working on finishing up?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish Swatch & Review

Last week, I pulled out two of my favorite summer colors and did an alternating manicure. It was totally spontaneous but I really liked the combo and how it turned out!



The two colors are from the Maybelline Color Show line up. I picked up both of these from Target, one from last summer and one from their liquidation sale. I love the smaller sized bottles as who can finish a nail polish anyways? The price point on these are amazing too, I think around $3.


Hibiscus Haven 101- This is the perfect medium toned pink with a hint of coral

Pink Embrace 61- I think of this as almost a lilac. A really pretty light light pink!

The formula is pretty good, it takes about 2 coats for opaque color. The formula is smooth and the brush is easy to use. I actually find drugstore polishes last way longer on me than Essie or OPI. This would last about 3 days on me versus usually only 1 day when I wear Essie or OPI! Can someone tell me why?!


There are 48 shades in the collection so you are bound to find something that perks your interest! Since these bottles are smaller, I'm reallyyy hoping I can finish up one of these by the time next summer ends haha!

Have you tried Maybelline nail polish before? Do you find "higher end" polishes last longer on you?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Empties July 2015

Who doesn't like to keep trash around and then talk about it? It's seriously one of my favorite things to watch and read so here's what I've been stashing since my last empties post in May 2015.


Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 Shampoo- :( formula was a bit thick and made my hair dirty fast

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel- :) YUMMY

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner- :/ smells good but I don't really get what it's suppose to do

ELF Makeup remover Cleansing Clothes- :) LOVE and it's only $3- Review

Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil- :) Was my favorite before DHC deep cleansing oil but still really good- Review

Laneige Blackhead Pore Strip- :) I used to think this didn't work but recently used it and my nose was SO smooth after


Maybelline Great Lash Curved- :) Had this forever and it works quite well.This is part of my Finish Five by Fall so a bit of a spoiler here. Review.

Tarte Lip Gloss in Finn- :/ Nice pigmentation but the color wasn't that flattering on me.

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer- :/ I like this one over other silicon primers as this one feels more like a moisturizer. But I don't use primers that much and can't tell significant difference on effects.


David's Tea Detox- :( Tasted like ginger and lemongrass and I dislike ginger very much

David's Tea Japanese Sencha- :/  The taste was pretty boring, and usually I expect more unique flavors from David's Tea

David's Tea Alpine Punch- :/ it was okay, kind of nutty with a hint of apple, probably better during holiday season

Purgo Tea 14 Day Program- :/ okay tasting and helped me be healthier! See full review here


Salt Spring Island Candle- Hearth- :) LOVE this smell. But the wick was a bit too big and brought up too much smoke. Review here

Salt Spring Island Candle- Yoga- :/ This was unique and smells like incense a little bit.


Here are some items I'm getting rid of:  fruits & passion body cream (5 yrs old already ew), Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (I used to really like this but it hardened), Covergirl trublend whipped foundation, 2 brushes and 3 nail polishes (The NYC one is AMAZING).

Do you do empties posts? Let me know and I'll go give it a read!