Products I’ve Used Up: 2013 – Part 1

Empties_1

I love watching Empties videos on YouTube so I figured I’d show some products of my own that I have finished within the past few months and give some mini reviews of each.  This post will be in two parts since I have a TON of finished products to share.

Lancome Bi Facial eye makeup remover $35/4.2oz

I think this is Sephora’s most-rated product; it’s received rave reviews all over the web.  I’ve used it a few times over the past few years and there’s no doubt is a great for removing all makeup but with the exorbitant price, it’s not one I’ll ever purchase (this one was a sample size).  There are other alternatives that work just as well – I typically have success with the Yves Rocher cleansers and removers.

Bath & Body Works supercharged body scrub in Country Chic $14

I’m a body scrub addict, and I’ve been using this one since last year. I freaking love it.  Scent aside (though the Country Chic one is awesome – I recommend it) it’s a great product.  I love it because its a harsh scrub but it also doubles as a body wash- if you rub it in under water the beads disappear and you’re left with foamy soap.  This totally solved the problem of having exfoliated and then getting out of the shower and still finding the beads on your body.  I’ve used it on my face as well and it’s great.  Now that I’ve hyped it up, I hate to say that I think this formula has actually been discontinued.  However I just checked the B&BW website and I’m pretty sure they’ve just rebranded it and are now calling it 2 in 1 Superfruit Body Scrub & Wash.  In terms of the scent, I find this one isn’t too girly, it smells very fresh and IMO it’s one of the underrated B&BW scents.

Cake Milk Made shower cream

I won’t go over this one for too long because I think it’s been discontinued.  If you happen to see it at Winners or TJ Maxx you should totally pick it up though because it’s an awesome product.  I’ve gone through two of them and the large bottles can last you a few months at the very least.  It’s basically a shower gel but it has a creamy texture, I usually would use it to shave with.  It has the infamous Milk Made vanilla-y smell that stays on the skin after you leave the shower.  Love it.

Cake Lemon Cupcake smoothing body scrub

You win some, you lose some.  I hated this scrub.  Like I said above the scrubs I go for are the harsh, abrasive ones because I really like to get a good exfoliation if I’m gonna exfoliate at all.  It was the most liquidy exfoliant I’ve ever used and I had to force myself to even use it.

Lush Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner (sample) $12.95/100ml

This conditionner is probably one of the thinest I’ve ever used and that alone killed it for me.  Combine that with the smell of grass and you have one conditionner that I really don’t want to use.   Though it felt really thin in the shower, I’ll say that it did seem to condition my hair well enough.  I won’t be repurchasing the full size of this but it might work for you if you have either shorter hair or thinner hair and like natural products.

Rimmel Stay Matte powder (transparent) $6.99

My favourite all-over face powder of all time.  I’ve bought probably 6 or 7 of these things, and I will keep doing so.  I’ve tried the Natural and Transparent shades and both are great.  I do find the Transparent shade has colour though, but im so pale that it doesn’t look like a white cast on my face.  If you’re not ghost-coloured get one of the other colours.

Hard Candy Take It Off Makeup Remover Wipes ~$6/25

Long story short, these burned my eyes. They didn’t take off eye makeup that well either. I won’t be repurchasing.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion $16/ 1.7oz

I love this moisturizer.  A little goes a long way and it’s quite thin yet very moisturizing.  The only thing I don’t love is the scent of it, but it’s nothing terrible.  I’m on my second bottle.

Lush Fair Trade Honey shampoo $9.95/100ml

It lathered well enough, but I couldn’t get over the smell.  Wouldn’t purchase the full size of it.

Cake Raspberry Tart 3 in 1 shampoo, body wash, bubble bath ~$9

It says shampoo on the label, but I think this would be best used as a bubble bath.  It was much too thin and liquidy to be used as a good shampoo.  It smelled great but didn’t really do what I wanted it to.

Review: Yves Rocher ‘Retropical’ LE Collection

Yves Rocher Retropical 1

MAC may have come out with 50 summer collections this year, but the one collection that has caught my eye for summer 2013 is from a different brand.  Yves Rocher France is a brand that carries makeup, bath products, skincare – the whole shebang.  I used to use their products much more often but have forgotten about them for other brands but I was really excited when I saw promo pics for Retropical – a paradise-themed set of products!  I opted for three things: their Kohl Duo eye liner in Seagreen/Deep Blue, the (jumbo) Eye Pencil in Pink Orchid and the Blue Lagoon Mascara.

I’ve played with the products for about two weeks, and I’m really impressed with them!  The jumbo pencil is a gorgeous rose-copper colour.  Depending the light it looks almost bronze with a hint of deep pink.  I like applying this in the crease, paired with a lighter white or champagne on the inner corner.  Like I mentioned in my June Favourites post, I have tried this on the waterline and while it stays nicely, I don’t like the look.  Red-tinted colours tend to make you look more tired, or sick – and I’m usually trying to cancel out redness on the waterline! So I stick to using it on the lid.

yves rocher mascara

I picked up the mascara because I have wanted a blue mascara for AGES.  I first used Maybelline’s Teal Appeal, but I haven’t been able to find that one for two years now.  Since, then I’ve used a few coloured mascaras (Inglot, another Yves Rocher) and I find that the colour just doesn’t show up once the mascara dries.  Unfortunately, I gotta say it’s about the same result with this one (unless you’re in direct sunlight) BUT in terms of just the mascara, I really like it!  This is an awesome lengthening mascara (how many times can I write “mascara”).  It does an awesome job of separating the lashes, mine are practically touching my eyebrows by the time I’m done applying just one coat.  The tube is pretty small, but at $4.95 it’s cheaper than even a drugstore mascara.

yves rocher retropical swatches

The duo-kohl is the product that I wasn’t sure about when I bought it.  I was in a rush, so I tried the tester in the store and meh, so-so pigmentation, but I bought it anyway.  I’ve been on the hunt for a seafoam-minty eyeliner ever since I laid eyes on the NARS Spring 2013 Larger Than Life eyeliner in Barrow Street which is an absolutely gorgeous green colour.  The NARS one is $29 in Canada,  the Yves Rocher was $5 so needless to say, the choice was pretty obvious.  The shimmery seafoam side of this pencil has semi-sheer pigmentation, and it doesn’t really “stick” to the waterline.  However, it looks AWESOME smudged into the lower lash line.  The blue side has opaque, deep pigmentation, no shimmer, glides onto the waterline like a dream and looks great paired with the seafoam colour, on the outer part of the eye.   When I tried washing the swatches off the back of my hand, I had problems getting them off so I might even go as far as to say they are semi-waterproof, which isn’t advertised on the package (hidden bonus?).

Yves Rocher - look

 

Overall, I’m super happy with the products I’ve tried from Retropical.  Have you tried anything awesome recently?

Shop the collection at Yves-Rocher.com.

Jumbo eye pencil – $5.95 // Duo kohl – $4.95 // Mascara – $4.95

Out of the box: Julep Maven “It Girl” unopening

Thought I’d do a quick blog post about a subscription service I’ve recently tried out, Julep. Julep is nail polish brand that also has lines of polish remover and other beauty items like face and hand creams.  I saw a coupon code to try out a starter box for only one penny, instead of the regular $19.99 – (the coupon code is “PENNY”). The polishes, on their own, retail for $14 each.
 
Just keep in mind that when you sign up for your first box, you are subscribed to them meaning that every month, unless you cancel or skip the month you will be charged the $19.99.  Here’s what my box looked liked when I opened it.

My Maven box came with three polishes and two nail separators.

The polishes come in a compact black box.  Every box has a card showing the polishes, with a description of each.

Left to right: “Sasha”/ “Daisy”/ “Lily”

These colours, all creme finish, appear different in person than they do online; the first colour, Sasha looks more pink-peach in the photo above but depending on the light, can look more orange.  Daisy, the yellow colour looks more like a mustard yellow in person. Lily the fushia is pretty true to colour, and looks almost the same in photographs as in person.

Julep nail varnish in “Sasha”

While I find the polish a good quality, I’m not sure they’re worth the $14 each. The monthly subscription service is pretty original; I don’t know any others that specialize in nail polish but I think that spending $20/month every month just on nail polish just isn’t in my budget.

CARGO Color Palette Los Angeles- Review & Swatches

Cargo Color Palette in “Los Angeles”

These Color Palettes, which retail for $28 regular price on Cargo’s website, come in 10 different “cities” and all have four (unnamed) colours in each .   Los Angeles was the only one I saw at Winners on sale for $8 (!), but no matter because after having looked at the other colour combos online, this one is definitely my favourite (though I do like the look of Shanghai as well).  I’ve been meaning to add a vibrant green-aqua colour to my collection and this is the perfect one!

The eyeshadows don’t feel particularly “buttery” or smooth, but they do go on pretty dark and I’m happy with their pigmentation.  I find that they blend well enough but do have a bit of fallout though nothing too serious.

My favourite colour is probably the blue shade, though I’ve had a problem where I’ve tried to blend it with a gold shimmery eyeshadow and it turns more of a turquoise shade 😦  But that’s the only problem I’ve had.

Overall, I’m happy with this palette, especially because of the low price I got it for.  I would say that it’s worth the full price ($28) because you’re getting a generous amount of product – about $7 per shadow (not bad!).  If you think that you would use these shades then I’d say go for it!

“Los Angeles” swatches (the colours do appear more vibrant in person)

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