Monday, May 30, 2011

The Fuchsia the Better

Back row L-R: Rebel, Lickable, Girl About Town, Total Wow, Lustering
In Front: Immodest (resting on top), Scan-Delicious, Just Add Color and Chromeglass

I am completely in love with bright pink lips. Maybe my new fascination with all things fuchsia was brought about by the end of winter, maybe it was getting heavy bangs, but whatever the reason, I just can't get enough! I've got quite a few pink lippies, and am always on the lookout for new shades. Here are the ones I'm reaching for the most lately!

Rebel: Where do I start? This is completely unique and the most stunning lip colour I've ever encountered. It's a deep fuchsia with a hint of berry and purple undertones. It can be layered and fades evenly for perfect berry lips.

Lickable: Similar to Girl About Town (see below), but not quite as intense and about half a shade lighter. I can get away with wearing this one to work!

Girl About Town: True bright fuchsia lipstick that really is for the girl about town! This is perfect for that dramatic pop of colour for a grey day or a night out.

Total Wow: I may have to do a review just of this lipstick, I love it that much! It's a deep fuchsia/berry colour in the tube, but because it's a glaze finish, it goes on sheer with a hint of sheen and fades to a beautiful stain. My all-time favourite daytime lip colour.

Lustering: This one is a lighter, almost coral-tinged fuchsia. I like it because it's much less garish and can therefore be worn much more easily. I've heard it described in a blog review as "the shy younger sister of Girl About Town." Spot on, I'd say.

Immodest: Mattene lipstick. Not quite as drying as matte lipsticks, but has a similar finish. It's a brighter, lighter shade of pink than most of the others and is extremely intense due to the formula. It will last for ages, much longer than regular lipstick and show up more strongly. I really wish they had not discontinued these - they're beautiful!

Scan-Delicious: This was part of the Peacocky collection that came out at the end of 2010 and is one of the Kissable glosses. I love this because it's very intensely pigmented, super silky and doesn't leave a sticky feeling like the Lipglasses do.

Just Add Color: A Lipglass, this isn't my favourite pink because I'm not a huge fan of the stickiness of the Lipglass formula. If it weren't for that, I would love it. The colour is amazing - which is why it made my list despite the Lipglass formula. It is a true bright pink that will definitely make you stand out in a crowd!

Already Fab!: This one is a Chromeglass, so it's got a nearly metallic finish to it. The applicator sucks, bit I've found that dotting it along my lips and working it in with my finger works wonderfully.

Got any favourite bright pink lippies? Do tell!

Cruelty-Free? Yes - M.A.C. appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Juice Beauty - Mineral Lip Moisturizer Trio

It's the time of year to stock up on everything SPF in preparation for what we hope will be a long, hot summer. It was with that in mind that I purchased this package of three SPF 8 lip moisturizers from one of my favourite brands, Juice Beauty. Like all the Juice Beauty products, they're organic and don't contain any harmful preservatives or other chemicals. At $16.50 for the lot, it's a pretty good deal.

It contains one natural and two coloured - Joyful is a pale pink and Playful is a warm berry. The only thing I'm not crazy about is that rather than being a glaze-type tinted lip balm, they have a coloured shimmer. I'm not so crazy about that - I don't tend to like anything sparkly or shimmery. I'm sure I'll still use them, though, as they're not highly pigmented and smell great.

Don't forget - for the next two days you can get 25% off and free shipping at Juice Beauty's online store by using coupon code FF2011. Happy shopping!

Packaging: 5/5
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? As long as you like shimmery lip colour, then yep!
Would I purchase again? No. Perhaps the clear one individually.

Cruelty-Free? Yes - and appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to find it: Juice Beauty online, Ebeauty online

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MAC - Lipstick in Total Wow

I discovered this recently from an online store, though I believe it's discontinued, and am completely in love! It's a glaze, which means that it's not highly pigmented, but rather a sheer wash of colour. It's a dark pink in the fuchsia family but with a hint of purplish undertones. Hard to describe, but beautiful!

I tend to have trouble with most lipsticks as my lips dry out and chap easily, even with a primer. I tend to like formulas like the Slimshines that add a more subtle wash of colour and are more moisturizing. This definitely fit the bill! It's what I look for in a gloss but without the stickiness, and I love that as it fades it still leaves a hint of an even stain.

I also like that it's a bit more subtle and I can wear it easily during the day. That said, it probably wouldn't work as well for darker skin tones - I'm very pale so even more subtle shades show up well on me!
Overall this has become my go-to lip product and I've bought a backup since I'm sure I'll love it for a long time to come!

Come to think of it, I wonder if they still have it in stock so I can get an extra back up..... ;)

Packaging: 5/5
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? Definitely!
Would I purchase again? I have, and might get another backup while I still can since it's discontinued!

Cruelty-Free? Yes - and appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to find it: All Cosmetics Wholesale online.

Friday, May 27, 2011

MAC - Surf Baby Eyeshadows

Check out the new summer collection from MAC! Gorgeous, right? Unfortunately there are a LOT of shades in here that I simply can't pull off, but I think they'll be stunning on tanned or less pink-toned skin! The entire collection is inspired by summer beach colours - coral, turquoise, warm bronzer and pale shimmer. If you concentrate really hard you can almost hear the waves hitting the beach, right?

From this collection I only picked up two of the eyeshadows: Short Shorts (frost), which is a pale, shimmery highlight colour (it reminds me a little of Clair de Lune, only more spreadable) and Swell Baby which is a cool-toned grey - again easily blendable.Surf USA is on my "maybe" list - it's an absolutely gorgeous frosted turquoise that's surprisingly pigmented and easy to work with, I'm just not sure I'd use it enough to justify buying it! Sun Blonde is a very bright yellow-gold and Saffron is a bright coral - they both seemed a little chalky to me when I swatched them and I don't think they'd work well with my colouring.

The stacked pigments are gorgeous as well - also on my "maybe" list! A little glitter in some of them, but other than that they're as beautiful as you expect from MAC pigments and just as easy to work with as any of their others!

Packaging: 4.5/5
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? Yep.
Would I purchase again? Possibly, though I don't tend to use greys that much and the highlighter honestly isn't much different from their other similar shades - so I doubt I'll finish them very quickly!

Cruelty-Free? Yes - and appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to find it: MAC store or online.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Juice Beauty - Sale Coupon!!

I normally don't go overboard telling people to buy stuff, but I actually really like this company and their products, so I thought I'd share some info and a sale coupon code for anyone who might be interested. If you don't like hearing about products, feel free to skip this post!

I came across Juice Beauty by fluke when I got a free sample of their Oil-Free Moisturizer with a Sephora purchase. I immediately loved how it smelled and liked what I read on the label, but as I've got sensitive skin and have spent years finding products that work for me, I didn't try it right away. Eventually the yummy scent won me over and I gave it a try. And immediately fell in love with it.

Since then I've learned a bit about the company. They use 100% certified organic juice as the base for their products, making them 98% organic. And they don't contain parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Since skin is the largest organ in the human body and whatever we put on it gets absorbed quickly into the body, this is a huge plus!

As if all that wasn't enough, they are also listed on the PETA website as a cruelty-free company, meaning that they do not test their products on animals. This issue has been close to my heart since I was in my early teens, and I always make an effort to support companies that do not harm animals just to make us look pretty.

Of course anything this good comes at a price - one that often makes them much harder on the budget than they are on the skin! Which is why I was super excited to discover their friends and family sale which will give you 25% off and free shipping (even to Canada!) until May 31st. Just enter coupon code FF2011 upon checkout.

If you're not familiar with the brand, here are some of my favourites to get you started:

 Oil-Free Moisturizer 
This was the first thing I ever tried and an excellent introduction to the brand. It has a lovely citrus scent with just a hint of sweetness that I find gorgeous. It spreads easily and a little goes a very long way - but it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave any oily residue - great for those of us who don't like the feel of heavy cream or makeup on our skin!

Green Apple SPF 20 Antioxidant Body Moisturizer
 With summer fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about how to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays without forgoing everything that makes summer fun. This is the answer. It has SPF 20, making it good for everyday protection from casual sun exposure, and your new summer favourite! It does double duty as a moisturizer so it will keep your skin super soft at the same time. And it doesn't leave any white residue or have an obnoxious sunscreen smell. If you get just one product in the sale, this should be it!

SPF 8 Lip Moisturizer
Don't forget those lovely lips when you're heading out into the sun! These lip moisturizers have a great smell and taste, go on without leaving any residue and come in clear as well as two subtle tints for when you want a little more colour! Sold in a package of three and individually.

  And I’ve heard really good things about these:
 Green Apple Peel Sensitive
I haven't tried this one yet, but it's sitting in my bathroom, so I will soon! It is formulated with anti-oxidants and will gently exfoliate while smoothing out fine lines and reducing breakouts. Apparently. Also comes in full strength for those with more hardy skin types.

SPF 30 Mineral Sheer Moisturizer 
More than any other body part, your face is exposed to even the most diffused sunlight every single minute that you're outdoors. In the summer, this is likely to be a lot of minutes. From what I've ready this is light enough to wear instead of daytime moisturizer but will give you SPF 30 protection so you don't have to slather heavy sunblock on your face. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Go and check them out while they've got they're sale on - also check out their "kits" if you want to try smaller sizes of a variety of products before committing to anything full sized!

Monday, May 23, 2011

LUSH - Pied de Pepper Foot Cream

I worked at LUSH for a couple of years as a teenager and this is one of the few products I still love and always have on my shelf. I have problems with dry skin on my feet and using this (with Vichy's Cracked Heel Repairer on trouble spots) keeps them relatively moisturized. Plus the cinnamon stimulates circulation and makes my feet all warm and tingly!

Because it's used on the feet it's also one that you can use a bit past the expiry date as long as the consistency and smell don't change, so that's a plus for someone like me who uses it sporadically!

Word to the wise - it will stain light-coloured socks and sheets, so be careful!

The scent is absolutely lovely - like cinnamon and clove mixed with a hint of vanilla. Even ten years later, I am not sick of that smell! Of course the down side is that it's such a strong smell that even after washing my hands I can smell it for a couple of hours and sometimes it's a bit overwhelming! But for the most part, I love it.

Packaging: 4.5/5
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? Cheap at it!
Would I purchase again? Yes - I have been for years!

Cruelty-Free? Yes - appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list. 
Where to find it: LUSH store or online.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kiehl's - Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

I have found using this product to be a singularly odd experience. I have read lots of reviews describing it as "thick" and "creamy" and saying that it takes awhile to sink in, and perhaps I just got a weird batch, but that's not how I'd describe it. In fact, I'm not sure how to describe it at all!

It's almost like when I go to rub it in it separates into two distinct layers, with the bottom layer clinging to my skin where I first applied it and refusing to budge and the top layer becoming watery and viscous, so my finger skids off the bottom layer. This makes it really hard to work into the skin at first! If I keep working it, however, it will eventually spread out a bit, but it really took some getting used to, and I was quite taken aback the first time I tried it!

That said, once I manage to spread it, it absorbs remarkably quickly and does seem to keep my delicate skin moisturized. I've found that if I get it too close to my eyes (any closer than about 5 millimeters) it will cause a bit of irritation and watering. But I have very sensitive eyes, so this may not be the case for most people.

Overall I don't think I'd buy this again, and I definitely wouldn't pay full price (I got mine online from All Cosmetics Wholesale), but I'll use up the tub I have!

**Update - 2/6/2011
I have been doing a lot of research on companies that do and don't test on animals. I was surprised to discover that Kiehl's is actually a subsidiary company of L'Oreal, who appear on PETA's list of companies who DO test on animals. I will not be purchasing anything from Kiehl's in the future, and please bear this information in mind when making your own consumer decisions.

Packaging: 5/5
Product quality: 3/5
Worth the price? Not full price, no.
Would I purchase again? I don't think so. 

Cruelty-Free? No. Kiehl's is a subsidiary of L'Oreal, who appear on PETA's list of companies who DO test on animals 
Where to find it: Kiehl's - in store or online

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Juice Beauty - Oil Free Moisturizer

First of all, I love the concepts of this brand. Not only are their products 98% USDA-certified organic, but they are a cruelty-free brand listed on the PETA website - both things that are very important to me when looking at a cosmetics company! It's great to know that not only am I putting something natural on my skin, but I'm avoiding animal cruelty at the same time.

I first tried this, like many of you, as a Sephora sample. I love the scent - light citrus with a hint of something sweet, like vanilla, and not at all synthetic. I have sensitive skin that can be dry in the winter - but I really HATE the feel of thick lotion or lots of makeup on my skin (I tend to use tinted moisturizer instead of foundation!). This goes on smoothly and absorbs without a trace (be careful not to use too much though - or it will feel sticky and not absorb properly!). I have found that it feels good on my skin and leaves it soft and healthy-looking.

I've read a few reviews saying that the juice has left skin feeling tingly or irritated. I have to say, I'm really surprised to hear this. I have very sensitive, pale skin that burns in about two seconds flat and can't handle any strong chemical products without getting pink and irritated - but I haven't even felt a hint of a tingle with this! So it's definitely a product that differs between people.

I certainly think that this is suited more to people with oilier skin or who don't like the feel of heavy moisturizer - and won't work in harsh winter climates. But with summer coming up I've stocked up and definitely see myself sticking with this in the future!

Packaging: 4.5/5 (can be hard to get the last little bit out)
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? Yep.
Would I purchase again? Already have! 

Cruelty-Free? Yes - appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to find it: Juice Beauty online, EBeauty online, Sephora in store or online

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Body Shop - Sampler Gift Set

I got this set for just $10 because I wanted to try the Peppermint Foot Lotion. The lotion turned out not to be as good as my all-time fave, Pied de Pepper, but the set was a great deal and it's been fun trying some of the other stuff, too! 

I like the almond hand wash - it definitely keeps my skin feeling soft and supple. I like the scent of almonds - but I do find that this is a little overwhelming and the scent stays on my hands for ages after I wash them. It's a little much. I haven't tried the Coconut Shower Gel yet, but it's next on my list. It smells great in the bottle, though! And of course Cocoa Butter Lotion - well you really can't go wrong there! I've been using various different cocoa butter lotions for years. The only think I really don't like is the White Musk Shower Gel. I've never been a fan of the scent (neither was the guy in I bought it from at the store - I said I probably would give it away and he winked and said "I don't blame you!"). I'm sure I can find someone else who'll like it, though, and for $10 I'm more than happy with the other four!

Packaging: 5/5
Product quality: 4/5
Worth the price? Super good deal.
Would I purchase again? I'll probably get some of these things again in the future, and would definitely re-purchase the set as a gift. **Update 2/6/11 - Until I have more information on whether this company can truly be called "cruelty-free" (see below) I will not be purchasing anything else from The Body Shop.
Cruelty-Free? Appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list, but is a subsidiary of L’Oréal. I am currently making enquiries as to how they can be on the cruelty-free list while their parent company is known to use animal testing.
Where to find it: The Body Shop in store.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

MAC - Eyeshadow in Wedge

***Pictures and Swatches Coming Soon!***

This is one of the three shadows I use almost every single day (without yet coming near hitting pan after nearly a year, I might add!!). It is a muted light brown matte shade, one you will see used in makeup tutorials again and again - and there's a good reason why! It's great in the crease when paired with light colours on my light colouring, but works just as well as the lid colour with a darker shade in the crease.

I'm not sure how this would work on darker skintones - it doesn't show up strongly and is matte, so I'd imagine it wouldn't work very well. But for my NW20 skintone it is fantastic. I haven't really found anything I couldn't make it work with. I'd highly recommend picking this one up if you haven't already - I know it's one I'll always re-purchase!

Packaging: 4/5
Product quality: 5/5
Worth the price? Definitely!
Would I purchase again? I can't imagine not having this one in my collection.

Cruelty-Free? Yes - appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to find it: MAC in store and online (available in individual container and refill pans). 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

MAC Big Bounce Mousse Eyeshadows

  Photo: Temptalia. I didn't buy them all so I can't take a photo of all of them! Click image to visit her site and read her review!

I was super excited when I first saw these on the MAC website. I thought, cool, cream shadows in pots that are easier to spread than the paint pots! I'm in! 

Not so much. These look great in the jar, and they do spread easily - but there's nothing there, even when you've applied several layers! And they are so very liquidy that it's really hard to build the colour at all because they take FOR-FRIKEN-EVER to dry! 

Now, that said, if you're someone who likes to apply makeup so-natural-it's-not-even-there, you will probably go crazy for these. They do add a bit of subtle shimmer to the lid that can be quite pretty on a nearly-neutral day. I just don't think it's worth spending that much for, personally. The only way I've found to make them work is as a base under a similar colour of shadow - and they do a decent job of lasting most of the day crease-free. Not all day and into the evening, however. 

I also find the packaging to be irritating - they're in the same pots as the paint pots only with a plastic cover because they go EVERYWHERE. Their consistency reminds me of Too Faced Shadow Insurance (and their similar cream shadows that I think have been discontinued) - and I found myself wondering why, oh why, didn't they just put them in a tube? It's so hard to get the right amount on your finger with this packaging. I also worry that because they're so very liquidy bacteria will breed more quickly leading to possible eye infections - so using a clean brush or freshly washed and squeaky-clean finger to apply these is a must.
 These are the ones I got. Top left to bottom right: Count Your Assets, Rich Thrills, 
Spread the Wealth, Trophy, Sizzlin' Diva and Rich, Sweet.

 See what I mean about the lids? Absolute disaster.  

 Top Row

 Bottom Row

If you've got money to burn and are curious, by all means give them a go. Just don't be too disappointed if you're not quite sure why you bothered.

Packaging: 4.5/5
Product quality: 3/5
Worth the price? Maybe.
Would I purchase again? No.

Cruelty-Free? Yes - appears on PETA's Cruelty-Free list.
Where to Find It: MAC in store and online.
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