Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Empties #1

Welcome to my first empties of 2016! Grab a cup of tea as it's going to be a long one!

A couple of these makeup items are from my last Project Pan and I kept it around to use a few more times before tossing! The other items are makeup products that just did not work for me and it's time to clear it out.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer- :) Part of my project pan and really love this as a contour but it's over 4 years old now so tossing it out!

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb- :) Another item from my project pan. Love the color but the packaging is start to rub off and leave little rubber bits around. I've finished 80% of this product.

Bareminerals Ready Blush in The One- :/ The last item from my project pan, the color was just okay.

Maybelline Babylips - :( I'm not sure everyone's obsession with babylips, I don't like the scent of this at all!

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner- :( I reviewed this a while back but I wanted to give it a second chance. But it is sooo creamy that it does not stay on and I end up with raccoon eyes!

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer- :( This made my lashes feel crunchy and since it's white, it always peeks through my mascara.

Stila Cover up Stick- :/ I just didn't get the right shade and this is around 6 years old!

L'Occitane Ultra Rich Lip Balm- :( This DRIED OUT my lips so bad! I was constantly reapplying because my lips were dry but I realized it was this lipbalm that was making it dry!

I have sheet masks from THEFACESHOP (Green Tea and the Rudolph Character Mask) and My Beauty Diary. All three were pretty good but mostly just relaxation with no differences in the skin. :/

THEFACESHOP Mango Seed Cleansing Foam and Heart Volume Butter :) - I enjoyed both, the foam didn't dry out my skin and the lotion was nice and hydrating.

The Garnier Clean Makeup Wipes were just okay :/ but the Cetaphil Cleansing Cloths are my current favorite :). It's so moist and the smaller packaging makes it so convenient to bring around.

LUSH Don't Look at Me - :) This is my first LUSH fresh face mask and this knocked it out of the park! It did go bad pretty fast but it left my skin the next day looking so smooth! Also this little tub lasted me at least 10 uses!

I love David's Tea and all of it's unique flavors. I stocked up during it's Boxing Day Sale so I have some new teas to share.

Cranberry Orange Muffin- :) This is an herbal infusion with cranberries as the first ingredient!

Buddha's Blend- :) Stronger than I expected but a wonderful white and green tea blend.

Buchu Superfruit- :/ I thought I would love this but I think it was a bit too sweet and fruity.

Green Passionfruit- :) Light fruity green tea, my favorite type! I love the little tin too.

A couple more items that I used up including cotton pads, floss and a THEFAESHOP Oil-Drop Anti-Aging Serum which I quite enjoyed. I LOVE the smell of the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter, I thought it would be nutty but it's very fruity!

I threw away a heal salve as I didn't find any uses for it as well as some Impress nails. I do usually like these press on nails but this design was a purple/green duochrome that just didn't look appealing

La Roche Posay Corrective Concentrate- :/ I wanted to lighten some of my dark spots and sometimes I feel like this is starting to work but I think I wasn't using it regularly enough to notice.

Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt- :( I reviewed it earlier last year and this has a great texture and scent but it stings my eyes when I try to get mascara/eyeliner off.

Burt's Bees Lipbalm- :) Gone through many of these, my holy grail lip balm.

Soap & Glory Hand Food- :/ I've heard so many great things about this brand that I was a little bit disappointed. The scent was artificially sweet and found it a bit greasy.

NYC Big Bold Angel Lash - :) I really enjoy this mascara! Nice light weight mascara that doesn't get crunchy, see review.

DHC Double Protection Mascara- :( At first I really liked it as it separates lashes amazingly and it's small wand is versatile. However when removing this, it is so difficult and has a consistency similar to lash glue!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara- :/ Standard mascara that does it's job but nothing too exciting. See review.

NYC Smokin Hot Showtime Volume Mascara- :( Nope, doesn't do anything.

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara- :) This gave me such big lashes but I think it's getting old as it's starting to flake now. See review.

Phew that was quite a bit! Let's see your empties!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lioele Water Drop BB Cream Review

The last foundation I will be reviewing this month is of the Lioele Water Drop BB cream. I picked this up in Hong Kong when I was there on exchange so it's one of my older foundations. I've been loving doing my review series as it's motivated me dig through my collection and review items I've always wanted to but never got a chance.

Name: Lioele Water Drop BB Cream (SPF27)
Shade: 1 Shade
Price: $13-18 from online retailers
Size: 50g
Available at Colormix/Sasa in Hong Kong and online retailers in Canada

What Lioele says: "It is an exclusive moisturizing BB cream which makes your skin moist since it contains waterdrop. It naturally covers the skin blemishes to create clean skin tone and keeps the skin soft for a long time without glossiness."

Shade: The first thing to point out is that this product only comes in one shade! This is common for Asian cosmetics as most people are a similar (or want to be this) skin tone. Unfortunately this factor would limit this BB cream to only a certain group of ladies here in North America. The color is a nice neutral beige that is darker than most other Asian BB creams and a great match for my winter skin. (~NC15-20)

Formula: The formula of this is VERY interesting! It uses a Water Capture System and releases moisture drops. You'll see in the swatch photo below that the product seems to generate water droplets before blending perfectly together again. The result is a very refreshing and cooling feeling on the skin. It is a medium liquid consistency. 

Coverage: I usually apply this with a sponge or a buffing brush but your fingers will work totally fine. The coverage you'll get from this is very light. If you have any imperfections it will likely only help make things look smoother but will not have the pigmentation to cover it up. With that said, I really love it for everyday use as it looks so natural and feels great while giving me a sheer layer of coverage.

Finish: The product will leave a satiny finish. The product is very hydrating which is perfect for my dry skin. It holds up pretty good but since the coverage is fairly sheer, it's hard to determine when it starts to fade.

You can kind of see the water droplets forming.

I feel like the product really blends into my own skin color very nicely. I think since the coverage is so sheer, the product can be used across a larger skin spectrum. 

Here is the before and after. I feel like it really helps to make my skin look smoother while keeping things natural.

Overall, I think this would be great for dry skin and those looking for light coverage. It's a fantastic every day product that adds natural coverage and smooths out the skin. Additionally it already has SPF so that helps to keep your skin protected from the sun. If you have more oily skin or are looking for more coverage, unfortunately this is probably not for you.

Well that's it for my foundation reviews! Tell me about your favorite foundations! Also, look out next month for reviews of four blush products!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The North Face Ballard Lace Boots Review + OOTD

With the amount of rain in Vancouver, having a pair of winter/rain boots is essential in every girl's wardrobe. I've previously relied on my Tretorns and Uggs but when I visited Sportchek recently, I was really enticed by the new styles of winter boots available!

The pair I decided on was The North Face Ballard Lace boots. These retail for $179.99 but I got mine on sale for $129.99. These boots are meant for all day outdoor wear and features a burnish finish with a colorful wrap around lace. The boots fit just above my ankle and the opening is big enough to tuck in jeans, pants etc. 

Style: First off, I love the style of these shoes! I did NOT believe that these could be waterproof and I'm sure I asked the salesperson at least five times. I found the other winter boots were immediately identifiable as winter boots whereas this one can pass for a casual day boot too! 

The upper is made of leather that's PU coated so it can better stand the elements (I still spray mine with protectant though).  The soles are made of rubber and helps prevent slipping. You also get a set of beige laces if you don't want the contrasting blue.

Fit: These boots are very lightweight and comfortable! It's more around the weight of a pair of Uggs versus the weight of Timberlands. The inside is quilted so it is nice and soft. I wanted to get a 6 which is my normal flats size but they were out so I sized up to 6.5. I usually have to wear thicker socks but that's okay as it's for the winter time anyways. These fit true to size. 

Function: In terms of waterproofing, I've worn these in the rain multiple times and have never had wet feet! With that said, I also did not have to walk through any deep puddles that would require submerging my feet. I do get a bit concerned with how well the waterproofing will hold up as the leather will change color when it's wet. But so far it has not let me down.

Outfit Ideas: I love wearing thick socks and letting the edge of it peek through. For a casual look, I wear it with jeans and a parka! It also works really well if you are commuting to work and you have a dress/nylons.

I've only had mine for two months now so I can't quite comment on how long they will last. So far so good though! The best part is that they are stylish enough to wear with any outfit AND you'll be comfortable at the same time.

If you are looking for a pair of winter boots but are wanting to stray from the typical Uggs/Hunters/Tretorns, give these a try!

What's your most "functional" pair of boots?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Revlon Colorstay 2 in 1 Compact Review -3 Shades w/Swatches and Demo

New to the drugstore, Revlon recently released a 2 in 1 compact in their Colorstay line up in the form of a compact. This product takes the guesswork out of finding a concealer shade that's right for your foundation.

Name: Revlon Colorstay 2 in 1 Compact
Shade: 12 Shades
Price: $19.99
Size: 11g Foundation, 1.3g Concealer
Available at local drugstores.

What Revlon says: "Each Revlon ColorStay 2-in-1 Compact Makeup & Concealer features a perfectly-paired cream makeup with complementing cream concealer, expertly matched to be one shade lighter than the makeup. The chic packaging includes a concealer to camouflage imperfections, a lightweight makeup for smooth finish and all-day coverage, a mirror for touch-ups on the go and Revlon applicator for precision and blending."

Revlon recently released their newest face product which is a cream foundation and concealer, all in one chic compact. The liquid Revlon Colorstay foundation is a favorite among many Youtubers so let's see how this new cream compact stacks up. Included in the compact is a mirror and a sponge.

I have not used many foundations in this format so my biggest fear was that the product would be hard to blend and I'd end up with cake face.

My first thought was holy crap the foundation is SO creamy! It is really easy to pick up on a sponge and blends across the face perfectly. Also, I was amazed by how weightless it felt. I thought I would feel oily or stick, but it was dry almost instantly.

Packaging: I'm really impressed by the quality of the mirror in this compact. The sponge is really easy to work with too. I'd have liked if the compact was a bit thinner as it's a bit big for fitting into my purse.

Coverage: This is a medium coverage foundation. I had great successes with this covering up my brown spots. Foundations usually just slide across my brown spots for some reason but maybe due to the sponge application, I was really able to lessen the darkness of it.

Finish: The product gives a satin finish and lasts about 6 hours. I'm a bit surprised that it doesn't last as long but I guess because it's a compact, you can touch up throughout the day. I love the smooth look it gives to my skin but it does cling to some dry spots.

Another drawing point of this product is the "expert matched" concealer. I can see how this is beneficial for those who are just starting out at the drugstore. Especially since often there aren't testers in the drugstore, you may be left guessing what shade you want. The formula of the concealer is significantly thicker but still very creamy.

The shade works well on me but I prefer the texture of the foundation better. I think I can layer my foundation to create heavier coverage. As you can see in the swatches, the concealer is usually a shade lighter than the foundation.

Shades: Natural Beige is a great match for my skin right now. 180 Sand Beige is a lighter yellow toned beige while 320 True Beige is a warmer, darker shade. There are three shades lighter than Sand Beige and 6 shades darker than True Beige. If you have trouble finding darker shades at the drugstore, check out the Caramel and Cappuccino shades in this collection.

Here's my before and after with the foundation and concealer. My brown spots are much less noticeable! I would then use bronzer/blush to warm up the skin so it's not so one dimensional. But I wanted to show the foundation on it's own.

Overall I really like the foundation for it's creaminess and weightless feel on the skin. At $19.99  it's on the pricier side on the drugstore. But if you are just starting out in makeup, it's a great way to pick up foundation and concealer all in one go! The formulation of the foundation is spot on and the inclusion of the mirror and sponge makes it a complete compact for the on the go!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tiffany & Co Infinity Narrow Band Ring

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are enjoying the day with your significant other, friends or family. Today, I will be sharing a piece of new jewelry with you guys: Tiffany & Co Infinity Narrow Band ring.

Tiffany's jewelry is expensive and a little bit over priced. But the feeling and special memories associated with that little blue box is well worth the money-sometimes. If you are interested in seeing what my first ever Tiffany's piece was, check out this previous blog post.

So last year, I lost one of my rings that my boyfriend bought me from Tiffanys and he generously offered to buy me a new one! :O

I spent a while looking at which style I want and almost wanted to get the same one again as that was my favorite style! But I figured if I one day find it, I don't want two of the same ring. If your budget is under $300, you'll want to stick to sterling silver rings.

The ring I ended up choosing is the Tiffany Infinity Narrow Band Ring. I liked the idea of infinties linked together. I like that the ring is dainty and the design is unique. I love the design and it'd be really good for stacking as well. Also, Tiffany's recently changed their policy that you can bring in your silver jewelry to be cleaned free of charge!

I experimented with stacking my other silver ring. It's not the best but I actually don't own that many rings as I tend to wear the same pieces of jewelry day after day. I can imagine this to be really cute with other silver bands and even midi rings.

Do you own any items from Tiffany's? Or what's your favorite place to get jewelry?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation Review in 4.0

I can not believe how long it's taken me to write a review post about this foundation! I bought it over three years ago, see my original haul post, and have loved it ever since! It's probably been my favorite foundation of all time and I always reach this when I'll be taking photos.

On a day to day basis, I usually go with a BB cream, a tinted moisturizer or a light dusting of powder. But for every special occasion, I always turn to my Urban Decay Naked Foundation. This review might be a bit of a rave post but it is one of my holy grails.

Name: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
Shade: 4.0 medium-light with golden olive undertones (18 options)
Price: $47CAD/$40USD
Size: 30mL
Available at Sephora

What Urban Decay says: "This formula helps skin achieve a natural, illuminated and bright finish— like the beautiful skin you were born with. Naked Skin is formulated with light-diffusing spheres, transforming you to look professionally retouched. Buildable coverage allows women to customize their look. The finish is matte, never flat, and luminous, but not shiny."

Application: Urban Decay suggests that you use their "Optic Blurring Brush" but I have a lot of success using my ELF stippling brush. I first tap the product in and then blend it in using a circular motion. I find this gives me a more natural look compared to using a more dense brush. I can imagine this to be pretty good with a Beauty Blender as well.

Coverage: This is a medium coverage with the option of building to full coverage. It gives me a completely blank canvas to do contouring, highlighting

Staying Power: I usually put this on in the afternoon and it lasts all night for events/parties that I'm going to. So I would say it's very long lasting and 8+ hours on me.

Finish: It's a really interesting finish as it looks matte but your skin still looks natural. That's one thing that I love is that you can hardly tell you are wearing a full face of foundation. I also have dry skin and haven't found this foundation to be drying at all. 

Shade 4.0: I love the yellow undertone in this!

I've used this foundation in some of my previous tutorials, and this look of the day for my Graduation dinner!


After- no other makeup

I think you can probably tell that I am a HUGE fan of this foundation! I should really use this up soon as it's getting way too old to still be in my collection. If you are looking for a natural looking but full coverage foundation, definitely give this a try! I feel like this product is underhyped and can really be a holy grail for a lot of skin types!

What's your favorite foundation to use when you go out to parties?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

KISS Nail Polish Pop Stickers


For someone that's not very good at nail art, I need alternatives to making my nails look great. Kiss released a line of Polish Pops which includes full nail covers as well as decorative stickers that will complete your manicure. They come in a variety of colors and themes and retails for $4.97.

In each set, there are 8 full nail covers in 4 different sizes. All the designs are different and are meant as an accent to your manicure. There will also be many smaller stickers that's meant to be stuck onto a fully painted nail. I find that the nail covers stayed on for about two days while the smaller stickers stayed on for 7+ days.

You can also easily cut the stickers into the length you want it to be. For example, I only wanted a portion of the line so I just cut through the sticker and the cardboard for the amount I need.

I chose to use the aztec themed one to create a nail look and I absolutely love it! I only used three polishes, a black on my index, a baby pink on my middle finger and a gold in my pinky. I feel like one set of Polish Pop can complete at least two full manicures if you are using it more as an accent item. The stickers are relatively flat and it looks so natural! I definitely want to pick more up especially when I have more time in the summer to do fun nail art!

What do you think of my design? Have you given nail stickers a try before?

Available at Walmart in Canada

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact Review

I find that Asian skincare/makeup is always coming out with the latest technologies. This post is about the Amore Pacific cushion compact that is now being stocked at Sephora!

Name: Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact
Shade: 204 Tan Gold (5 options)
Price: $72CAD/$60USD
Size: 31mL
Available at Sephora

What Amore Pacific says: "Flaunt a flawless, luminous complexion with this revolutionary compact that provides light to medium coverage, superior antioxidant and sun protection, and instant hydration. The broad spectrum SPF 50 protects against both UVA and UVB rays and the non-absorbing puff applicator cools and soothes the skin for a refreshing finish every time."

I have the shade 204 Tan Gold which is described as light to medium with golden undertones. First off, I like that this product has multiple shades as many Asian face products only come in one or two colors. The product also contains an SPF50+ which is always important in Asian skincare.

The product has a scent to it that smells like skincare and may be irritating to some. You can smell it for at least the first hour of wear. It's a nice smell which I don't mind but it's not for everyone.

Application: The compact comes with a sponge applicator and is what I use on most occasions. The puff is non-absorbent so that the product gets on your face and not stuck in the sponge. You can also apply with a dense face brush like the Real Techniques buffing brush. Patting my face with the sponge makes me feel super delicate hah!

Coverage: This foundation provides a light-medium coverage. It does a good job of  creating a dewy canvas but it does not contain too much pigment for heavy duty coverage. I would say this evens out my skin tone but I'm not sure how well it would cover break outs and other imperfections.

Staying Power: I wear this throughout the day and it lasts 8+ hours. However, the coverage is light to begin with. 

Finish: You will get a dewy finish from this product but it sets pretty quickly. I find that by midday it's more of a satin finish. I have dry skin so I do enjoy the initial hydration.

 At $72, it is one of the pricier options out there. However, with your purchase, you receive a refill so technically you are buying two foundations for $72 which isn't too bad at all! This is great if you are someone that likes to use the same foundation every single day as this can easily last you a year. Before you commit to this, you might want to ask for a sample at Sephora to ensure you really like it!

Wearing just the Amore Pacific Cushion Compact

The packaging is gorgeous and the application feels luxurious too. If you just need a light coverage foundation and want SPF protection along with hydration, this is a fantastic product! However, if you are oily or want a full coverage foundation, this is probably not for you.

Have you tried a cushion foundation before? Let me know what's your current favorite foundation!