Thursday, September 30, 2010

ELF Cosmetics: 50% Off Studio and Bath Items Once A Year Savings Event (48 Hours Only)

ELF Cosmetics is offering 50% off all Studio and Bath items, during their "Once A Year Savings Event" this is valid for 48 hours only. Just enter the code "ECD2" to get the savings. This was emailed to me this morning, so please note that when placing your order. There is no minimum purchased required on this, I just tried it out. If you want something from ELF, now is the time to order!

Click here to shop ELF Cosmetics.

Review: Thierry Mugler Womanity Eau De Parfum

I was lucky to win one of 100 bottles of the new Thierry Mugler Womanity perfume from, they are an awesome site for Canadians to try out new products and write reviews. It came in a cute little satin pouch with Thierry Mugler embossed on it. I know Thierry Mugler is much more popular in the UK, I don't hear too much about him and his perfumes in Canada, but I was always curious to try something out. I do have a sample sized bottle of Angel from Sephora and do enjoy that one very much. 'Womanity' is supposed to be a celebration of womankind, to encompass energy, tenderness, and sophistication at the same time. I find his perfume to be unlike others on the market, the scent is something that you will either love or hate. The scents are very unusual at first, but you begin to love them and it's nice to not smell like many others.

Womanity was released recently, it comes in 10, 30, 50 and 80ml bottles, which are refillable (totally great). 10ml bottle to me is a great idea, no one needs a huge 100ml bottle of anything, you'll never get through it all, at least I won't. The bottle design is kinda cool, it's pink with a alien/woman's face and there is a metal cuff at the top, the ring comes off. I guess you could wear the ring on the bottle as a ring on your finger, but it is quite large and heavy looking. The larger bottles have a more elaborate metal chain as you can tell in the image above. The bottle is beautiful yet a bit creepy at the same time with the face.

The smell, I am not the best at describing scents, but I will try my best. This is definitely a strong, loud scent, as Angel was. The notes are citrus, fig, and caviar. This has some weird notes in it. When I first spray it I think this smells quite masculine. Why would a scent called 'womanity' smell like a man? I am not sure. This does not smell like flowery or sweet as feminine perfumes tend to be. This is quite musky. And a perfume with caviar? that is definitely something new. You'd think the caviar would make this perfume repulsive. Maybe it's the caviar that makes this one smell a bit salty, and the fig that makes it smell a bit woodsy. As it dries and dies down a bit, the scent totally changes and it smells more sweet and sort of like ginger. I would say definitely use this sparingly because it is strong, and very strong when first sprayed it may give you a headache. This perfume has many different layers to it, and you can smell them at different intensities as the fragrance develops on your skin. Staying power wise, I sprayed this once and it lasted all day. I think this is a really beautiful mature fragrance for the fall and winter.

I really like this fragrance and if you want to try something different and totally unique, I would definitely recommend this. The 10ml bottle will last me a while. I think at first this fragrance may turn you away, but fear not it changes over time and smells totally different.

Have you tried Womanity or any other Thierry Mugler perfumes?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NOTD: Rimmel Milk Chocolate and Down Days

The weather in my part of the world has been pretty dreary and miserable lately, very typical of Canadian fall: rainy, windy and cold. Also, I have been dealing with some personal issues over the past few days which have made me feel a bit depressed and down. My bf landed in the hospital for pancreatitis. He was admitted exactly 3 years ago for the same thing. The doctors don't really know why he keeps getting it, it's common in heavy drinkers, or those with gall stones. He doesn't really drink and his gall bladder was checked and nothing. He is on painkillers and loads of xrays and tests are being done to try and figure out what is wrong. He'll be in the hospital for a week. It makes me really sad that this keeps happening to him because health is so important and when you don't know what is causing your illness, it's hard to prevent it from happening again.

Also, we've been trying to get an apartment in Toronto for past three months and it's been a really hard time. So many places have fallen through or rented out before we got to them. That current place is fine, view of the lake, pretty large, but the owners do not want pets in the unit. We have two cats. We are going through a real estate agent and he assures us that it will be fine, just not to tell the owners. Before the hospital stuff happened we were in the final stages of the lease process. This is slowing things down, but maybe for the better. The owners keep making changes to the lease, adding clauses about being able to inspect the place whenever they want and us insuring that no pets will occupy the unit during the lease. I feel uncomfortable lying to them because if they do ever need to come by and repair something in the unit, my one cat will greet them at the door and it will not be a good scene. Also, the real estate agent is pushing us to hurry this along, despite me explaining to him that my bf is in the hospital and this is not our priority right now. I think he is just trying to get his commission and be done with it. I feel bad giving up this place, but I think we are going to have to. If only I had tons of money and could rent out any place that I wanted.

Anyway, enough about my life and onto the nail of the day. I painted my nails Rimmel's Milk Chocolate. This is a fairly nice drugstore colour. It's a beige nude colour, I think it resembles a light version of chocolate milk more than milk chocolate. It takes two coats and is very creamy. I think it's a good everyday colour. And for me it gives me that almost mannequin hands look. Since it's in the Lycra Wear 10 line it promises up to 10 days of wear, no base or topcoat needed. However, for my needs I did use both a base and topcoat and will change my polish within a few days so longwear is not a concern of mine.

I've also compared it here with similar colours in my collection. Orly's Country Club Khaki is on the left, which is   more grey and OPI Tickle My France-y on the right, which is more beige. Milk Chocolate is much more pink than these other two.
Do you have this polish?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Sigma Makeup F50 vs. MAC 187

The MAC 187 is a quintessential makeup brush, every makeup artist has one, or a comparable one and it's great for a variety of uses. I got mine a few years ago during MAC's 20% off friends and family sale, I couldn't justify paying full price for it, it retails for $50.50 CAD. Before buying the MAC 187, I bought several dupes, in hopes that they would please me enough, to not have to buy the real thing, every one of them came up short. I bought the Quo skunk brush and several from Coastal Scents, none of which I liked. However, Sigma has a dupe which is very close and just as good as the MAC 187, this is the F50 brush. The Sigma brush sells for only $16 US, I know it sounds too good to be true, but I will try and show you with this review.

As you can tell in the picture above, the brushes look the same as first glance, the Sigma is noticeably longer in length, and the handle is a bit thicker. The ferrule is slightly longer on the Sigma too. The black and white bristles look the same.

When I first bought the new MAC Pro Longwear foundation, I used my Sigma F50 to apply it because I had the sneaking suspicion that a foundation that is supposed to last 15 hours may possibly stain my brushes. And because my MAC cost so much, I was willing to sacrifice the Sigma instead. And as you can tell from the pictures, it will be really easy to tell which one is the Sigma because the bristles are slightly stained (I hope this comes out!). I washed both brushes before this review to see how they dry and the Sigma one dried much faster. I suspect this is because the white bristles on the Sigma are thinner than the MAC, you can tell this in the picture above, the MAC seem thicker, possibly less of them and the Sigma looks more dense. There was no dye running out when I washed the Sigma brush, I have read people have this problem, did not happen with mine. During use, the Sigma did shed a few hairs, but it stopped after several washes.

Both brushes are incredibly soft on your face. I have read reviews that the F50 can be 'pokey' on the face, but the one that I have, this is not the case at all, so maybe they improved on this? I bought my F50 individually. The Sigma F50 does feel floppier than the MAC 187 which is firm in comparison, but not floppy that it can't be used. I find the F50 blends and stipples liquid foundation perfectly.

This is both brushes laid down, the Sigma head looks slightly larger, which I would say is the case in real life too, if you examine them closely. After washing, the Sigma smells just like my MAC one, like my anti-bacterial hand wash! there is no funky smell to it.

And here is another shot, I tried to show these brushes compared at as many angles are possible. The bristles look the same here. The black bristles fray out in both of the brushes. The Sigma has natural and synthetic bristles just like the MAC does.

So in conclusion, I like having both these brushes. I think the Sigma is slightly floppier and the MAC is a bit more firm. For application, I find they both do the same job. For those of you looking for a cheaper alternative to the MAC 187, the Sigma one is the best for the price in my opinion.

Have you tried the Sigma F50? What did you think of it?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mascara Monday: L'oreal Voluminous Naturale

Today's mascara review is the L'oreal Voluminous Naturale, that's right, not the original or the Carbon Black, but the Naturale version that no one ever talks about. This is one of my favourite mascaras because it doesn't make my lashes brittle, gives nice volume and lift without looking caked on, and has a wicked cool applicator. The original Voluminous is a favourite of many people because it gives dramatic volume, whereas this one is more of a toned-down natural look. Reading the ratings for this mascara on Makeup Alley, it averages 2.9, I don't know why people dislike it so much, but then again, people have high expectations for mascara and everyone is looking for miracles, you need good lashes, then every mascara will look good on you, unless it sucks in general, then it won't.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review: MAC Pro Longwear Foundation and Concealer

MAC recently came out with their new foundation, it's called Pro Longwear with SPF 10. It claims to last 15 hours. I did not buy it expecting 15 hours of wear, I am a huge fan of MAC foundations so I am basically interested in trying every single one they bring out. I have read glowing reviews of this foundation, comparisons to Estee Lauder Double Wear and just generally great reviews all around. I have not tried the Estee Lauder, so I cannot comment on that. I think this foundation is awesome and it's quickly becoming a favourite of mine. For those who want a long-wearing foundation that isn't heaving feeling, I think MAC Pro Longwear will be perfect for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks

Can you believe these are my first ever Rimmel Lasting Finish lipsticks? I don't know why I didn't get these earlier, they are gorgeous. I bought 5 of these on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart this week, they were $3.99 a piece, normally $7.49 here in Canada. I got the colours (from left to right): Heavenly, Air Fairy, Crush, Pink Blush and Nostalgia.

They come in dark purple/burgundy packaging with a crown on the top. You can tell the packaging is really cheap judging by how light it is, but I do like how it clicks so you know it's totally closed. There are lots of colours to choose from, some are a tad too frosty for my liking though. I like the finish of these, they aren't particularly moisturizing, but not drying either and they last a decent amount of time, for a lipstick anyway. I am particularly about the smell of beauty products and these smell like Starburst candies to me, they are like a sour, sweet fragrance.

The pigmentation of these is really nice, it takes two swipes to get a nice, even application. I think for a drugstore lipstick, these are one of the best. I tried to pick colours that weren't too frosty, I like creamy lipsticks. These go on with some shine and look very flattering.

Heavenly is a mauvey berry colour. It is darker than it looks in the picture above, that is what flash does, it makes everything look lighter than it is, do not judge this colour on this swatch, the pictures above do it more justice. This colour is gorgeous.

Airy Fairy is a really popular colour. I didn't want it based on the swatches that I saw online however because it made me think it was a colour that it's not. Problem is this one is really hard to photograph, it can look nude and pinky purple depending on the lighting. I think it can look good on anyone because it's so unique of a colour.

Crush is a peachy colour, it does have some shimmer in it and bright, I think it's too bright and at the same time, it leaves yellow lines on the outside of your lipline if you do overapply it. Not totally sold on this one.

Pink Blush is a pale baby pink, it is marvelous. It applies moist, smooth and opaque in two swipes. Lots of people compare this to a more pigmented MAC Lady Gaga lipstick, but so much cheaper. I like pinks, so I had to pick up this one.

Nostalgia is a bright warm coral. This one is a pretty colour too.

Do you have any of the Rimmel Lasting Finish lipsticks?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Everyday Minerals New Brushes Tapered Sculpting Face Brush, Large Mineral Brush, and Itahake Brush

I haven't ordered anything from Everyday Minerals in probably over two years. I used to use their minerals foundations exclusively and was a big fan. Then they started changing their kits around and everything got more expensive and so I moved on. They used to have this awesome kit where you could choose any 12 items for $60 I think it was, and any 6 items for $32. I don't remember the exact amounts, but it was something like this. Nothing was excluded, you could get full sized foundations, eyeshadows and best of all their brushes.  Anyway, I was bored last night and just browsing around and noticed that they have some new brushes out! I love my EDM Flat Top Kabuki (very similar to Sigma F80) and my long handled kabuki so new brushes from Everyday Minerals definitely intrigued me! Anyone know if they took the forum away on the website? I can't find it anywhere.

The first two new brushes are the Tapered Sculpting Face Brush and the Large Mineral Brush (pictured above), both have bamboo handles and totally synthetic bristles, which EDM is known for. The Tapered Sculpting Face Brush (retails for $12, on special now for $9) is a dome-shaped and multi-functioning, intended to be used for contouring, highlighting and blending mineral face powders. The shape of this looks really cool, almost like the egg-shaped MAC brush, but round instead. I may have to order this one, but I am going to read up some reviews before I take the plunge and since it's new-ish, there aren't many around.

The Large Mineral Brush (retails for $14, on special for $11) looks like the EDM long-handled kabuki but with a longer handle, and a tad rounder. This brush doesn't excite me as much, but it's cool too.

Next is this crazy looking Japanese-inspired, Itahake Brush (sells for $15, and currently out of stock). This brush has a flat surface with round edges, and is described as being "the perfect artisan brush to go along with your favo(u)rite face brushes." I personally don't know how I would use this other than maybe contouring? It looks really cool though and totally unique.

What do you guys think of these brushes?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: Benefit Dandelion Blush

Dandelion was the first Benefit product that I ever purchased. It's a pretty pale, light pink blush, on the back of the box it's described as "finely spun with delicates mauves and pinks, this exquisite brightening face powder leaves a petal like finish." It's meant to be used as all over the face brightening, but I know most people that buy this use it as a blush, and on fair skin tones it will show up as such. I think this is a really pretty subtle pink blush, good for everyday, and good for those who aren't really into blush as this does give a perk me up, natural looking flush.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ELF Haul Mineral Brushes, Neutral Eye Beauty Book and Hypershine Glosses

I got my latest order from ELF Cosmetics today. I have an initial review here of their new mineral brushes, the neutral eye beauty book and some of their hypershine glosses. I was really excited about the new mineral brushes since I am a brush junkie but, I gotta say straight up, these brushes are not great, which is a disappointment, read on for all the stuff that I got from ELF!

After getting the Smokey Eye Beauty Book earlier, I decided to pick up the Neutral Eye Edition as well since I liked it so much. I am more of a neutral eye girl anyway and I liked all the purple-toned colours that were in this one. The colours are very pigmented, however some are very soft, meaning you get a lot of product out at once, they are super smooth, but I wonder about the staying power because it's so buttery. I can do a full review later on if you guys are interested.

I've been obsessed with ELF's Hypershine glosses recently and almost have them all now, however I only recently found some nice opaque creme ones which I am happy with. The ones I mean are Flirt and Bubblegum in the picture above, as you can tell these are nicely opaque, Bubblegum especially is really really nice, I recommend this one for sure. The Frenzied Fuchsia is a new colour (notice how the packaging is slightly different) it looks great in the tube, despite the giant air bubble that was in mine, and even better on the site, it looks lilac, but swatched it's clear, huge disappointment. Fairy and Joy are too shimmery for my liking. The bottom one in the top pic is a Luscious Lipstick, slightly different than the Hypershine glosses, I will do a full review of these soon too.

And lastly, the new mineral brushes, lots of people are probably wondering about these and my initial impression is not a favourable one. I picked up 3 of the face brushes: powder, complexion and angled blush brush, they retail for $5 each. Everyone is wondering why these are so much, but all of ELF mineral line is more expensive, so the brushes are too, there is a 50% off mineral items on right now until October 12, 2010, so it's a good time to order if you want these, enter the code "50MIN" with any $20 order.

These brushes have synthetic, anti-bacterial taklon bristles. The bristles are soft, but the bristles are also quite thin and floppy. The brushes smelled like paint when I received them, and the white bristles reminded me of the Loew Cornell craft store brushes that I have. The powder brush is my biggest disappointment, it's huge and doesn't really work for anything besides setting powder because it's not dense enough, it resembles the Complexion brush from ELF's Studio Line. The complexion brush here reminds me a lot of the Ecotools blush brush, same shape and performs the same way, but I prefer the Ecotools cause it doesn't smell funky. The angled blush brush is just okay, very small and not very dense. I would not recommend these mineral brushes and will not be buying anymore, sorry ELF.

Oh and look at how much ELF paid to ship these items to me, $20! I only paid $6.95! If you are from Canada, you probably know this trick already, but in case you don't.. when you pay with paypal you only get charged $6.95 and avoid getting the extra $8 tacked on for Canadian shipping, I've been doing this for over a year now and it always works, however I gotta say I feel a tad bad after seeing how much they paid to ship it!

If you want any in-depth reviews please let me know below.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Essie Cuddle with Color Fall 2009 Revisited Swatches and Review

One of my favourite collections from Essie has gotta be last year's 2009 "Cuddle with Color", which had some very nice, very fall-like, muted polishes. There were 6 polishes in this collection and I have 3 of them to show and review for you today. The bright pink and orange did not fit in this collection at all in my opinion and the dark blue has been done again and again, nothing new. I know this collection is from last year, but I still think these three colours are just as current now as they were then. These colours are quite drab, but at the same time mature, classy and trendy looking. What do you guys think?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mascara Monday: L'oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara Review

Today's mascara is the L'oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara. The L'oreal website describes this mascara as "For clump-free, perfectly defined longer lashes. L’Oréal introduces new Telescopic® Clean Definition Mascara for lashes with telescopic length, perfect definition, and a clump-free, natural end result. The patented No Clump Brush™ cleanly defines and lengthens up to 60%." This came out a long time ago, and promised more than anything, clump-free lashes. The packaging is a tall, skinny silver bottle that resembles a telescope, I find the packaging to be kind of ugly but it's not what's on the outside that counts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 5

This is like a miracle worker for destroying acne flareups. I have used several spot treatment products such as Clean and Clear's Advantage Acne Spot Treatment and Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, but this one has given me the best results. This product is described on the Clean and Clear website as "This #1 pharmacist-recommended acne treatment contains maximum strength Benzoyl Peroxide acne medication. The unique formula goes to work immediately, releasing the medicine deep into the pores where pimples start." It contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, which is a medication that helps fight acne-causing bacteria, and helps to eliminate and prevent acne.

I have to admit, I have had more acne in my mid-late 20's then I ever did in my teen years, and the majority of it is on my chin. I have an area on my chin where they always pop up, and it's a constantly healing while new acne forms type of disaster area. It really bothers me because I generally do not break out anywhere else and my skin is quite dry. Dry skin gets acne too though, believe it or not. And the zits on my chin are the painful, under the skin types that linger. I have read that many women in my age group experience the same problems and apparently it's caused by hormones. I am not currently on any birth control and have not been for years, so I don't know what is causing it. I have tried peppermint tea (read that helps somewhere), wash my face twice a day, exfoliate regularly, and do not wear makeup unless I need to. I think maybe the cause is how I constantly switch my products around, I should really stick to one skincare line or product and let my skin adjust. I am not dermatologist though, I am just learning on my own. If anyone here has pointers, please let me know.
Anyway, now that the nastiness is over, Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 5 for me is a wonderful product. This was about $8 at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. It has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide and as far as I know, in Canada we don't have the 10% available over the counter. I would of tried that one instead, does the 10% work better? The Persa-Gel comes in a squeezy tube, the product itself is a white substance, I just squeeze out a tiny about and dab it on the monsters and blend it in. I have read that people use this all over their face everyday, I've only used it for spot treatment. Is it safe to use all over your face? seems like it would dry out a lot.

I got a new one of those under the chin pimples (to add to the collection) and put this on over night. In the morning, the swelling and size went down a lot, it's still there but greatly improved. The only thing is, this will dry out the area around the zit. I noticed once it dried, it left a kind of white powdery residue, which is definitely a downside to this product, but if you use it at night, this isn't a problem at all. I did find that after using it for a few days, the zit would bleed too, not sure if that is normal. If I push down on it too, I can feel fluid inside which is what is still causing the zit to be there. With repeated use, the zit will clear up altogether I think. Skincare is a very personal thing and varies person to person, but for me, this product works.

Have you tried this product? What is your favourite acne-fighting product?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Sigma Makeup Flat Top Retractable Kabuki and Heart Shaped Mirror

Let's review some of Sigma Makeup's newer products, today I have the Hollywood Glamour Flat Top Retractable Kabuki and the Heart Shaped Mirror in Wild Pink. Both of these products are great for on the go, you can throw them into your makeup bag or purse and use them as needed.

Unlike the rest of Sigma's retractable kabukis, this one is a flat top. It sells for $25 on the Sigma Makeup website. It resembles the F80, a favourite of mine only in a compact, retractable version. This one comes with purple packaging and since it's in the Hollywood Glamour collection, this one has "Miss Taylor" embossed on it, for Elizabeth Taylor. I love the purple colour too. As you can tell in the picture above, you take the top off, pull the metal protector down and it reveals the brush, this keeps it clean and put together.

Compared to the F80, you can tell the brushes are pretty much the same, the bristles are soft and synthetic. I think the retractable version has a wider base and has slightly more bristles, as you can tell in the image above.  It also feels a tiny bit floppier, has more "give" than the F80, but that is probably because it doesn't have as firm of a base as the full sized brush. Of course, I am just being very critical here and these are probably things that most people would never notice. Both of these brushes are equally as dense and fabulous and are awesome at applying liquid foundation. So if you like your F80, why not get a retractable version too?

Sigma Makeup sells these super cute heart-shaped mirrors, they come in a variety of colours, Wild Pink is $27, but the one colour ones go for $25. I picked out this one because I like the pink and black, kinda leopard style going on. These come in a cute, velvety black string bag with the "Sigma" sown on. The back has Sigma written right on it, and the inside is totally mirrored and has a small compartment.

Look at how blingy and gorgeous this mirror is! Sigma says these are handmade and each rhinestone is individually placed on the mirror, wow that would take some time. You know you are getting a quality product here. However, what surprised me about this mirror is just how small it is, notice in the picture above,  I have small hands and this fits in my palm.

What do you think of these two products?