Essence eyeshadow – review & swatch

Left to right “Yes Eye Can!”, “Kermit Says Hello” (love that name lol), “Happy Hour”

I recently found out that one of the local pharmacy chains here in Montreal carries the German brand Essence Cosmetics.  Essence is a line that has products ranging from eyeshadows, concealer, nail polishes, mascara, and the whole shebang. Best part is that everything is super affordable (each individual product retails for under $4, I think!).  The eyeshadows retail for $2.99 each but I found them for $2.49 at my Pharmaprix.  I know in the US you can find Essence products at most Ulta stores.

I first picked up the blue colour (“Happy Hour”) to try it out, because I couldn’t see how something so inexpensive could actually work properly.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the eyeshadow is of decent quality and pigmentation (view swatch below).  It seems, though, that the eyeshadows appear most pigmented when applied with a finger, instead of a brush.  Actually, there is almost no colour payoff when using a brush (I tried with an elf brush, which work fine for most shadows).  For me, this is isn’t much of an issue because I tend to apply most eyeshadows with my finger anyway for the very reason that I get a darker colour that way.

Left to right “Yes Eye Can!”/ “Kermit Says Hello”/ “Happy Hour”

I haven’t had any issues with chalkiness or powder fallout with the shadows.  I went to a different pharmacy after having bought the first eyeshadow and there I picked up the other two colours.  I got the green (“Kermit Says Hello”) because it reminded me of Nars “Shimmering Chartreuse.”  I got the purple-grey colour because purple is probably my favourite eyeshadow colour as it goes with almost anything and looks good on anyone.

I find they go on much, much darker when using an eyeshadow base underneath (such as a NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil).

Left: Essence eyeshadow in Yes Eye Can! and NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil in Pots & Pans. Right: Essence eyeshadow in Happy Hour and NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil in Baby Blue

Outer swatches show the eyeshadows on their own, inner swatches show the eyeshadows with NYX eyeshadow pencil underneath

Another view with different lighting:

xx

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush – review & swatch

Maybelline dream bouncy blush

Image courtesy of Maybelline.com

I know it’s been out a while, but I just recently picked up a Maybelline Bouncy Blush in the colour Pink Frosting and thought I’d give a little review and swatch.

I tested it at Walmart but the $9.99 price tag didn’t sway me enough, though when I saw it for half price a few days later at Pharmaprix, I was too tempted not to give it a try and here we are.

Long story short: I like it, don’t love it

The packaging says that it applies like a cream and dries like a powder, and I’d say this is pretty accurate. My (obvious) complaint is that it is a bit of a hassle to apply because, from what I’ve tried, you can’t use a brush so you’re left using your fingers which makes it hard to apply the correct amount of product.  A tip: since this product is definitely buildable, start with a small amount on two fingers and then you can use the same fingers or a brush to blend it in properly on your face.  Another thing I’ve been doing is applying it right after I put on foundation, before I put on a translucent or setting powder, so that you can go over with the powder and it won’t seem so harsh.  Also find this way allows it to stick better to the foundation making it last longer.

There’s a decent array of colours to choose from, and I’d say if you like your blushes and see this one on sale, it’s worth trying just because it’s so different from other blushes (the texture, not colour).

“Pink Frosting” swatch – furthest right (other swatches are for the Revlon Lip butters)

xx

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – review

I use the lightest shade

I had been meaning to try out a BB cream after seeing many good reviews for Garnier’s BB cream.  Before I was able to get my hands on that one, I noticed on a trip to the drug store that Maybelline had come out with their own BB cream.  I was still skeptical, and for $12.99 I decided to hold off a bit.

Then I went to Walmart and I saw the same BB cream for $8.99 and decided to try it and see what it was like.

Long story short: I love it!!

I recommend trying it if:

1) You aren’t looking for anything more than light coverage (or even that).

2) You’re just curious to try it and don’t mind spending $8-13.

I love how it goes on (I apply with a sponge – same as I would for foundation), and I love how it has a really refreshing feeling – feels very cool, almost minty, when first applied to the face.  Right off the bat, I though it looked a bit orange in the container but actually blends into my skin quite nicely.  If you’re at the store and see it, I’d say use the tester and put some on your hand/neck (neck is usually more accurate but I know there’s not always a mirror around to see at a drugstore) to see if it matches.

I still use a concealer for discoloured areas around my face, and right under my eyes.  Also, you don’t need to set it with a powder but I usually do anyway out of habit.  Overall, I really like it and I’ve been reaching for it much more than I have been my usual foundation.

xx

Haul Part 1: Revlon Lip Butters – Swatches & Mini review

Pics and swatches of a few things I picked up on my recent trips to the mall & drug store/pharmacy.

I picked up three Revlon Lip Butters after hearing so much hype about them.  Not a huge fan of lipstick in general but I thought I’d see how these were because they’re moisturizing and super pigmented (depending the colour you get).

The colours I got are Strawberry Shortcake (pink), Lollipop (fushia) and Creamsicle (peach/light coral).  Retail for $6-11 where I’ve seen them, but got them on sale for $5.99 at Jean Coutu (prices vary in Canada/US).  You can apparently also get them on ebay.

From left to right – Revlon lip butter in Strawberry Shortcake, Lollipop and Creamsicle.  [Furthest right is a swatch of Maybelline Bouncy blush in Pink Frosting]

Strawberry Shortcake is probably the most wearable out of the ones I got because the colour is closest to my actual lip colour.  Lollipop is a beautiful darker shade, not as wearable but looks great when you pair it with a softer eye.  Creamsicle looks pretty scary in the picture but in reality it’s more of a nude pink, actually a bit lighter than my real lip colour so looks great with almost any look.  What I like to do is wear two or even all three of the colours to create a different shade of pink.

Lollipop and Creamsicle

Revlon Strawberry Shotcake lipbutter

Things I want to buy: Zara

In no particular order.

COMBINED EMBROIDERED BLOUSE $99.90 CAD


Combined embroidered blouse - $99.90

STRIPED BLOUSE WITH CONTRASTING CONCEALED BUTTON CLOSURE $49.90 CAD


Striped blouse w/ contrasting concealed button closure - $49.90

TIE DYE T-SHIRT $59.90 CAD


Tie dye t-shirt - $59.90

 

BIRD-PRINT SHIRT $59.90 CAD


Bird-print shirt - $59.90

VOILE BLOUSE $45.90 CAD


Voile Blouse (pink) - $45.90

MIXED FABRIC SWISS DOT BLOUSE – $69.90 CAD


Mixed fabric swiss dot blouse - $69.90

POLKA DOT PRINTED BLOUSE $49.90 CAD


Polka dot printed blouse - $49.90

CONTRASTING POLKA DOT BLOUSE $59.90 CAD


CONTRASTING POLKA DOT BLOUSE $59.90 CAD

SHIRT WITH STUDDED COLLAR $69.90 CAD


SHIRT WITH STUDDED COLLAR $69.90 CAD

COMBINED SILK BIB FRONT BLOUSE $99.90 CAD


COMBINED SILK BIB FRONT BLOUSE 99.90 CAD

CONTRASTING STRIPED SHIRT $69.90 CAD


CONTRASTING STRIPED SHIRT 69.90 CAD

MAO COLLAR BLOUSE $59.90 CAD


MAO COLLAR BLOUSE 59.90 CAD

STUDIO SHIRT WITH STUDDED COLLAR $119.00 CAD


STUDIO SHIRT WITH STUDDED COLLAR 119.00 CAD

Top albums of the year (so far)

lol so I only have two favs…

2. The Ting Tings – “Sounds From Nowheresville”

Super catchy – I love.  The first songs are better than the last ones.  The last ones are pretty bad in my opinion, but the first few make up for it!  Only 10 songs on the album, I would’ve loved more, but we got some solid tracks here!

Tops:

Give it back

Hang it Up

Hit Me Down Sonny

“surprised that I actually like it song”: Guggenheim

1.  Lana Del Rey- “Born to Die”

Undoubtedly, my favourite & most-played album is Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die.”  Absolutely amazing, and unlike any album I’ve ever listened to throughly before.  Admittedly, I don’t love every one of the 15 songs on the album, but the good songs are really, really good and definitely outweigh the weaker/not-as-good ones.  The single “Born to Die” is the one that got me hooked, even after the first time watching the music video – (I think watching with the music video had a bigger impact than just listening to the song alone would have had) – I was so intrigued.  The music was not like something I had listened to before- I LOVED the classic sounding style it had, combined with the beat in the background; I think the chorus is amazing and catchy.  Cannot say enough good things about that song, it is so haunting and beautiful.

As far as the rest of the album goes, there are some SUPER fantastic songs that have really catchy chorus but are really different & refreshing.  I love a good Katy Perry or Rhianna, but Lana is just different in the best way possible.  These are songs for any occasion.  I highly recommend going on YouTube and searching her older music videos, there are some gems there: Kill Kill, Kinda Outta Luck, 

Other favs (really hard to choose!):

This is What Makes us Girls

Radio

Without You

Off to the Races

National Anthem

Just another note: You may have noticed that ultra-smash hit “Video Games” isn’t in my favourite pics!  I do like the song, but it is a bit too slow for me to consider it a favourite!

xx