Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 2015 Empties


I usually do photos/tally for empties at the very end of the month, but there has been a lot this month so I cut myself off early last week, otherwise this would turn into a ridiculously long post (I like to give a good final word on these). 
 
 This is a Korean face mask my mom gave me. I have a bunch of others from this brand that I've been using recently (didn't save all the packages). I have no idea where you can buy this here, if anyone knows please share, as I quite like them (no comparison of course to SK-II, but at that price better not be).
 Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil: definitely one of Julep's better non-polish products. It works well, and previously I thought about repurchasing. Now that I'm using one of Shu Uemura's oils though, I've been converted and I won't be repurchasing this. If you find Shu too pricey this is a good alternative, I think it was around $20.
 B.Kamins Sunscreen SPF30: I love this, a great non-greasy non-slick sunscreen, no white cast either. I'm not repurchasing this season only due to a pile of other sunscreens I need to use before their expiration. Will repurchase next year probably.

Clarins Hydra moisturizer: this was ok, very thick. Won't purchase.

 Hourglass mascara: loved this! Would purchase full size if not for the pile of deluxe mascaras I still need to get through...

Benefit Gimme Brow: I liked this at the beginning, but it really started gunking up near the end and was difficult to blend. Undecided about repurchasing.
 Clinique all about lips: this felt like a face moisturizer for my lips, didn't really do anything special. I used it up for the sake of it, but won't repurchase.

YSL Touche Eclat: I'm so undecided about repurchasing...it's a great product for my "no-makeup" days, but did it do anything that special to warrant $50...I don't know.
Clarins eye makeup remover: not bad, still prefer my Lancome Bi-Facil so won't be purchasing full size.

Lise Watier Day/Night serums: the night was ok, the day one was terrible, felt like sticky glue on my face, and remained sticky. I didn't bother to finish it as there's no way I'm putting that on my face again.
Hourglass liquid lipstick in Canvas: I loved this product in Icon, but this shade sucks. The color itself is actually nice, but the formula was super drying, not at all slick like Icon.Won't be repurchasing

Estee Lauder brown eye pencil: obviously not "empty" but it has become more hard and dry and more difficult to use overtime. Won't be repurchasing.

EOS lipbalm: it was cute while it lasted, but overall performance was "meh". Won't repurchase.

L'Occitane Almond Oil Shower: This came from a Topbox and I really liked it! I got another deluxe size from a GWP so will use that up first then likely will repurchase.



What did you empty this month?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sephora Sale Haul #2


I am so glad the Sephora sale is over. My wishlist was multiple hundreds of dollars and needed to be cut down. So what did I do...I just ended up making multiple smaller orders over that week. It somehow didn't feel as bad each time but I got my cc bill today and yup there was a lot of damage...Time to recover and use and review in the next little while! Meanwhile here's haulage...

See my 1st Sephora Sale in-store haul here
 

This was a total impulse buy...it's this neat little silicone scooper thing for getting the last bottom bits out of that favorite discontinued lip gloss. I have yet to actually hit bottom on a lip gloss (usually they expire and get tossed before this happens), but I'm finding this quite neat and others have suggested it can be used to scoop out the last bits of skincare product which I will try. 
 

Viseart I have been hearing lots about from MUAs due to it's intense pigmentation and blendability. When this guy first showed up at Sephora it kept selling out within minutes of me getting the "back in stock" email. Well finally it appears Sephora got enough in stock to last the whole sale. I'm so excited to try this and will hopefully post a review soon.
 

This next little guy is the cutest packaged powder I have ever seen. It's a violet tinted powder that is supposed to brighten sallow skintones, like mine. Will see how it goes...
 

I have been so resistant to trying the Clarisonic before. It's expensive and I wondered how much better it could be than my washcloths... However as noted I went a little crazy during this sale and that crazy part of me decided now was the time to try the Clarisonic. I stuck with the basic Mia1 model. I bought myself the "delicate" brush and will let hubby try the "sensitive" brush. Let's see how it goes! I will try for a good few weeks before posting my thoughts.
 

Lastly, the KGD spa water. It's expensive but let's see how it compares to my Bioderma as I test it in the next little while. I also got the Sephora Pro Airbrush Fan brush I've been eyeing for the past year. At over $40 it was hard to make the purchase, but yes the crazy part of me made the plunge this time 'round. 

I still have one more order coming... my mom once told me when undecided about saving/buying, just go out and make more money =P As stressful as work is sometimes, it's nice to treat myself to these things when I can :) 

Show me your Sephora haulage! Feel free to link your posts.




Friday, April 24, 2015

The Best Sponge I've Ever Used (no it's not the BeautyBlender...)


I love the Beautyblender, I really do, especially the black one. I have also tried many dupes, but the original is still the best . However, this new sponge from Sephora, surpasses even that and is now my new HG sponge. 


This is a double-sided flat sponge meant for BB/CC creams, as it advertises that it has a "velvety" side that will not absorb the thinner textures of BB/CC cream or tinted moisturizers. Well it does that and more...


This "velvety" side is seriously the softest thing I've ever brushed on my face, and it actually feels like a brush, not a sponge. Actually when I used it the first time I imagined it was like rubbing a baby bunny on my face (not that I've ever done that...).

 If you look closely it contains multiple synthetic brush-like fibers. It applies any cream-based base product like a dream, barely any blending needed. It's literally swipe and go. Yes, you can swipe, no "stippling" or "buffing" or repeatedly going back and forth on your face with this.


The back side is a regular black sponge. Nothing special here. I use it taco-style to apply powder to my T-zone. Sephora advertises to use this side to blend, but no need, the brushey side is that good on it's own. 

I have bought a couple of backups already. So far I have been using this almost daily for the past two weeks with daily washings and its holding up so far.  The only thing to be careful of is not to load too much product on, since the brush-sponge side won't absorb much product, you may end up putting too much on. I suggest dabbing the cream product on your face first, THEN use the sponge to swipe and spread it out.

Have you tried this? If not you should... it's only $10 CDN!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sephora 15% Off Sale Haul #1


I am so excited that it's Sephora sale week! With the excitement there's always some angst from my bleeding wallet, and mild distress at balancing "saving" via buying more due to the sale or just saving by not buying at all...sigh...yay all that is 15% off!

Every blog I know has been posting their wishlist this past week, but I was so unsure about what I wanted to get and so many things have been coming in and out of my shopping cart online all week. I finally stepped into the Eaton Centre store today as I had a couple of gift cards to use up. It was fun to swatch things in person for once as I usually order online due to better deals/samples etc.

I was super excited to finally get my hands on the Dior Addict Lip Glow and the Dior Creme de Rose lip balm. Not because they were hard to get of course, but because I wasn't ready to take the plunge until now. After hearing multiple glowing blog reviews, especially from Shopping Obsession and Lenallure, both of whom I trust with their choice of products, I decided it was finally time. 

I'm also interested to try the mini Beauty Blenders. I love the black one and have a few as backups, but these llittle guys have gotten very mixed reviews. I'm skeptical but eager to see if it can help with my under-eye concealing issues. 

Inadvertently, I was also given the VIB Rouge Marc Jacobs lippie because the sales lady noticed I was still carrying my old black BI card (I never got the red Rouge card when they sent me my welcome pack last year for some reason). Now I finally have the shiny red card, which I really don't care about, but this MJ lippie... mmmm!! Look at this cute little red packaging!

Here's the MJ bullet next to the Bite VIB Rouge lippie that came with last year's welcome pack.
 

Another product I'm super happy to have picked up, is the Givenchy Cream Eyeshadow in #1 - Blanc Satin Topcoat. This is supposed to be a sparkly "topcoat", a sheer shadow to be placed on top of other shadows. 

I will write a more detailed review on this soon as it really deserves it's own post, but boy is it gorgeous! It's a sheer light-reflecting multi-faceted shimmery thin cream shadow, that isn't overdone, and makes me feel kind of fancy and princess-y, in an adult way. Ah more to come soon.

What have you bought so far with this Chic week sale? Don't let my wallet bleed alone!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Depotting madness - Tokidoki, Too Faced, Bare Escentuals, Lancome, BH Cosmetics


Depotting isn't everyone's cup of tea...so read on only if you want to see some of these destroyed. It is a good stress reliever and allows you to build your own custom palettes after from random shadows from various brands. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil Hard Formula - Stone Gray






I've made a couple of online orders from Shu Uemura recently, and am enjoying trialing various products in this neat Japanese line. This eyebrow pencil they are particularly well-known for, and I'm happy to finally have added this to my brow arsenal. 

I bought the shade "Stone Grey". Although I can get away with brown brow colors (as long as they're more ashy/cool-toned browns), I find grey still the most natural looking.

Apparently you can take this to a Shu Uemura counter for them to sharpen it into a "knife" shape, which helps to draw more natural looking brow hairs. I've been using it "as is" though as the nearest counter is quite a trek. 




Here are some comparisons to my other pencils. The YSL remains my HG (previously reviewed here), and is the closest match to my brows. My only complaint about it is that it's super soft and requires sharpening every 1-2 uses.  The Shu, on the other hand, is very hard in comparison (guess should be expected with the name of "hard formula"!). It's been a good two weeks with nearly daily use and I haven't had to sharpen it yet!

From the hand swatches above, it may look like it has less pigmentation (believe me I scraped that bugger on my hand repeatedly and as hard as possible without breaking skin), but in fact Shu advertises that this formula is activated by the oils in and around your brow hairs, so it won't swatch well outside of the brow area. The end result is very natural-looking full brows as you don't end up drawing way outside your natural shape (no sharpie brows with this!).


 My natural brows, as you can see there are some patchy and sparse areas.




My brows filled in with Shu Uemura Stone Grey pencil. It registers with a hint of light brown on camera but in person blends in nicely with my natural brow hairs. 




Overall, the more I use this the more it's starting to compete in my heart for that HG spot! This Shu pencil is very long and hefty, and seems like it's going to last a long time (whereas I'm already on the end of my second YSL pencil in about a year of high frequency use). The downside is that it lacks a spoolie, which may be annoying when travelling since you will have to bring an extra tool. I may just alternate using both...oh the joys of makeup!

Have you tried this infamous eyebrow pencil? What did you think?




Friday, April 3, 2015

Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 32


I haven't bought a full sized eye cream in ages... Mostly because I get a lot of deluxe samples from various places and a deluxe sample of eye cream can last a long time for me! However, with warmer and sunnier weather coming, I wanted to add something I thought was missing in my skincare: eye cream with SPF. 
 

We all put sun protection on our face in the morning for anti-aging reasons, but most of us don't bother with our eyes (at least I didn't). I guess I always figured it's such a small area anyways, or usually I'm wearing sunglasses which should provide some protection. However the more I age and the more I see lines around my eyes, the more I start thinking whether more is needed. So when I saw this product I immediately wanted to add it to my morning regimen.


As you can see it contains both physical and chemical sunblocks.


The tube is nice and sturdy, not flimsy when you squeeze it which is nice. 
 

The consistency is that of a lighter sunblock lotion. I use approximately this amount and it doesn't give me a white cast around my eyes.

This product also advertises to be anti-aging as well as moisturizing of course. I actually find it's moisturizing abilities quite lacking, so if you suffer from dry under eyes you may need another cream as well. After 3 weeks of daily use I haven't noticed any particular changes in my fine lines however I'm hoping this is more for future prevention. 

Do you use SPF in your eye cream? Do you think it's necessary?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Empties: March 2015


Yay empties time! Good chance to do a big chunk of mini-reviews!


Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion: It's a good solid lotion...it doesn't do anything extra for my skin other than moisturizing, which is what it advertises. I get lots of deluxe samples of this so won't be purchasing the big one anytime soon.

Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Tinted Moisurizer SPF15: Now this is a very good tinted moisturizer. It goes on smooth and has enough coverage that I don't really need concealer unless there is a big pimple. You can also put another layer on trouble spots to build up coverage without it looking cakey. It also has an amazing cucumber scent. I won't be repurchasing only because I've got way too many other face products to go through. If you're in the market for a tinted moisturizer though I'd recommend this!

Clinique Moisture Surge: I don't get this product...it advertises to be a moisture "mask", however I found this anything but moisturizing. It goes on nice and soothing, but then as it dries makes my skin feel very tight and uncomfortable. It does smooth lines, however it wasn't advertised as a "firming" or "anti-wrinkle" product, which is more of what it does. Won't be purchasing.



Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara: This was the best smelling mascara I've ever tried! Not that I purposely smell my mascaras, because normally they reek of "chemical", however when using this I catch a lovely whiff of fancy perfume. As a mascara it was both lengthening and volumizing on my dinky lashes. I really enjoyed using this and will consider purchasing the full size product once I go through my massive pile of deluxe mascara samples.





MeMeMe Cheek & Lip Tint: This is a full size product from a previous Topbox, it's very similar to the infamous Benetint, except it doesn't last nearly as long on the lips and smells bad to me. On the face it gives me zero blending time, like it's staying wherever I put it, which is again terrible for me. This obviously isn't empty at all but I have no use for it, and the only place this can go is the trash. Needless to say I don't recommend this. If you like these types of liquid tints go for the Benefit. 

Julep DoubleStep Foot Treatment & Friction Stick: Julep can be really hit and miss for their non-nailpolishes, but this was a very useful product in the winter, when I tend to get dry cracked heels. After I started using this it helped heal some painful cracks and made my heels softer. Will repurchase next winter. 

Lancome Creme Douceur Cream-to-Oil Massage Cleanser: Originally reviewed here. This was a great makeup remover/cleanser and was great for travel since I don't have to worry about oil leaking into my luggage. If you like the feel of oil cleansers, but don't like the messiness of getting it onto your face, this would be an awesome product for you. It comes out as a easily-controllable cream, but turns into a slick oil cleanser once on the face. Will repurchase once I use up more of my cleanser stash. 


Yay to another month, Happy April and hopefully it's warming up to spring where you live! Let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you thought of them!