Archive for category Drugstore Finds

RapidLash Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum

Continuing my adventures in ULTIMATE LASH PLUMPING, I’ve been given an opportunity to try out the cult-product RapidLash® Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum, a lash treatment clinically proven to help you achieve fuller-looking lashes in as little as 30 days!

Following the success of XLash, I was sad to see the end of the product earlier last month.  Over the past month, my lashes have almost returned to their former state, though they are still a bit longer than they were previously.  I was excited to get the chance to try and compare RapidLash’s formula, which I have heard about from several different sources.  I’m eager to see how it compares to the XLash formula!

RapidLash

The RapidLash serum is a paraben-free, over-the-counter formula that features a breakthrough formula of six highly effective ingredients, including polypeptides, biotin, and panthenol.  It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.

As with the XLash product, application and use is easy-peasy.  Brush the formula along the baseline of lashes (you can also apply it to the lower lash line) every night at bedtime, and away you go.  Additionally, this formula can be used on the brows by applying directly to the brow line.

RapidLash RapidLash

The RapidLash product is comparable in price to XLash, at $59.95CAD.  Unlike XLash however,  you can get this from Shopper Drug Mart, so it’s more accessible (though it’s also available at RapidLash.com for those without access to Shoppers!).

I will report back in a month on my progress and results – I have high hopes! Having thick, long, fluttering lashes is really becoming addictive, I gotta say!

*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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May Marvels: What I’m Loving This Month!

Admittedly, May has FLOWN by with everything that’s been going on, and for once my brain hasn’t been consumed with thoughts of new beauty products and pretties as it usually it (perhaps sad, but totally true normally).  However, just because I’m not plotting my next purchase doesn’t mean I’m not thoroughly enjoying what I already have!  I’ve got a handful of items that have been in heavy rotation this month – see for yourself!

EOS Lip Balm

I came  SUUUUPER late to the EOS party it’s true, as these cute, all-natural spherical balms ($3.99CAD) were all the rage, oh, 2-3 years ago?  Nonetheless, I’m fairly certain they deserved all the hype, and they still seem quite popular as evidenced by a pretty badass dude on the bus whipping one out to smooth and hydrate his pucker on the bus a couple weeks ago.  It was AWESOME.  As are these – I have been using the one in Pomegranate Raspberry on the regular (a light, fruity scent that dissipates once on the lips), and it’s just got the absolute best texture – not too thin so as to wear off quickly, but not so thick that you can’t easily apply lipstick over it without it smearing or diluting the color.  Due to the shea butter, vitamin E and jojoba oil, I find them quite adept at hydrating my lips – though I would like them to be a bit more smoothing when they’re chapped and flaking.  Overall I’m loving it and am trying to resist also keeping the other two I have – Strawberry Sorbet and Passionfruit – instead of being generous and giving them to friends and family :)  Note that these are petroleum-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free, and can be purchased at Lawtons, Sobeys, Pharmaprix, Target, and Jean Coutu.

Mont Bleu Glass Files

As someone who manicures her nails twice a week, I am careful to be gentle as too much fussing can weaken them and cause splits and tears in the nail.  I’ve been using an old file that was given to me after my last pedicure, and it was doing the trick – or so I had thought.  I’d heard that glass nails were IT in terms of filing, and had tried them to only feel frustrated at how long it took to get anything done!  However, these files from Mont Bleu (approx. $13CAD) are AH-MA-ZING!  I was totally skeptical but thought I’d give them a shot again, and I’m SO glad I did.  Made with tempered Czech glass and embedded with Swarovski rhinestones (swanky!), I’ve been using one of the longer files religiously on my nails and on my friends nails for the bachelorette party/wedding (love that you can clean these) and they are crazy-effective, but still super gentle.  I had my nails quite long for the wedding, longer than I’ve been able to grow them in ages before they normally break, and I contribute that success to these babies.  LOVE!

Wedding ManiMy wedding mani! OPI Witch is Which over OPI Dazzled by Gold, just on tips

Late last month I ~FINALLLY~ finished my massive tube of Queen Helene Mint Julep Clay Mask – OMG I thought it was going to last forever!!  I bought it in 2008 if you can believe it…Anyway, I replaced it with Clinique’s new-ish Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask, also a clay mask, and have been using it once or twice a week with good results.  It seems to heal my breakouts faster without irritating my sensitive skin or making it feel tight and uncomfortable.  It does seem to make me a bit more oily the next day, but overall it’s quite effective and a little goes a long way.  For $26CAD for 100mL, it’s a pretty decent deal for a mask and I suspect it’ll last a while too (though hopefully not 5 years long).

Clinique Acne Solutions Mask Clinique Acne Solutions Mask (2)

Lastly, at the very beginning of May, I finally finished Denyse Beaulieu’s ode to parfum, The Perfume Lover.  When I say finally, it’s not because this was a dull, painful read – it was just because I kept stopping between parts to google all the things I learned!  For a relative fragrance newb, this book was exceptionally compelling and totally piqued my interest about the world of fragrance.  For someone already firmly entrenched in the beauty and joy of perfume and the history of scent, I believe you will find this wholeheartedly captivating.  Though I felt the storyline was a bit scattered at times, I didn’t care, as Denyse spun such an enthralling tale about the origins of fragrance while weaving throughout her own personal love affair with scent.  It was a fantastic read and I am all the more informed and better for having read it.  The accompanying fragrance, Seville a l’aube, is an orange blossom-heavy fragrance with hints of lavender and tobacco.  I am admittedly not a huge orange blossom fan (I believe it’s the reason I can’t fully commit to either Prada’s Infusion d’Iris nor Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle), I don’t mind this.  I think if I were to smell it on someone else, I’d be drawn in and wonder exactly what they were wearing.  It’s enveloping and definitely sensual – and there is something about it I like – but also something about it that repels me.  A strange mix, to be sure, and one that absolutely needs to be sniffed (don’t they all?) to make your own assumptions.

The Perfume Lover

So, these are the things that have gotten me through May!  It has been quite handy to have a few items on hand that are easily grab and go without any serious thought required (as I didn’t have time for it!).  I have a few more fun items to show you (hello, Boy’s Don’t Cry blush!), but I’m waiting for a sunny day to take some FOTD shots.  Hopefully we’ll get lucky this weekend!

What items, beauty or otherwise, have you been loving this month?

All products reviewed in this post were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Silky Smooth with eos Skincare

Even as a total beauty addict who spends a major investment of both time and money into looking and feeling good, there are some beauty no-no’s I’m totally guilty of.  I haven’t gotten my hair professionally cut in about three years.  I don’t always floss (gasp! I know).  I sometimes bite my cuticles (don’t judge!).  But probably one of my most cringe-worthy bad habits is that I rarely shave – even in the summer.  I’m a total lost cause, huh?

eos

I think the issue started with shave gels that with all their scents and chemicals, would make my eczema freak out on my legs, which progressed to me skipping the process it altogether.  In the winter, I probably shave my legs once a month (haha…I’m baring my soul here now lol); summer, probably once every two weeks.  Thankfully, my hair is so fine and due to my darker coloring, it’s generally not noticeable unless you’re looking for it.  But we all know that nothing beats a nice smooth leg!!

eos Shave Cream

If you recall, I questioned the necessity of shaving products way back when, and since then I haven’t purchased nary a  one.  However, having been kindly sent a shave cream by eos (Evolution Of Smooth) skincare, I decided to give them another go.

eos Shave Cream (2)eos Shave Cream (5)eos ingredients (2)There are several qualities of eos’ Shave Cream that are quite appealing to me.  First off, it smells lovely (though…I can’t seem to see fragrance on the ingredient list…strange) – the scent I received was Pomegranate Raspberry, and YUM!  So nice, but not sickening or too floral, which isn’t my taste.  Second, it’s a cream, which in my experience is always far more hydrating and usually leads to less nicks and cuts as it’s texture allows the blade to glide so smoothly over the skin.  Third, it’s got these freakin’ sweet grooves in the sides to allow you to grip the product oh-so-easily in the shower, and the bottle is recyclable plastic – bonus!  I love that little added extra :)

eos Shave Cream (3) eos Shave Cream (4)

The formula itself is also lovely and boasts vitamins E & C, natural aloe and oat extract, and shea butter; is paraben-free; and claims to moisturize your skin for 24hours after a shave (even after rinsing).  I found while using it in the shower (yes, I DID actually shave my legs!), a couple of pumps allowed me to coat my leg perfectly, and due to the more dense texture (vs a slippery gel) it stayed put and I was able to get my whole leg done quickly and easily, which is a must not only because I’m clearly shaving-lazy, but also because the less time a product sits on my skin, the less chance I have for potential irritation.  When I was finished, my legs felt soft, smooth, and not dry in the least.  All around I was quite impressed, and amazingly I’m actually looking forward to shaving my legs again – like, within the same week! O_o

eos Hand Lotion (2)

Next, I got to check out the CUTEST hand lotion ever, by the brand.  The scent is ‘Berry Blossom’ which I find quite similar to the shave cream, and I’m totally OK with that as I like it :)  Fragrance IS noted in the ingredient list here, but it’s quite low down on the list and I don’t feel as uncomfortable using the product as I am sometimes when fragrance is listed in the first ingredients.  I won’t use this frequently, but as a purse or work hand moisturizer I’m good to go.

eos ingredients

The texture of the lotion is fairly dense but just shy of being a full-blown cream.  It absorbs quickly but not so fast that I’m left feeling like I need more, you know?  I have dry hands from my eczema and I hate when I put on a lotion only to find that I feel like reapplying several minutes later.  I don’t want to feel greasy but I want to feel like I’m actually using an effective product.

eos Hand Lotion (3) eos Hand Lotion

Overall, I’m really happy with both of these products – I feel like a reasonable member of the clean-shaven society now, and I’m always happy to have a perfectly size hand hydrator to stash away in my purse or leave at my desk.  The Shave Cream comes in another fragrance – Vanilla Bliss – or in a Sensitive version that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, an option which makes me HAPPY to see available.  It retails for $3.99CAD and is available at quite a few spots – Rexall, Loblaw’s/Superstore, and I believe Walmart as well.

Please make me feel less weird – do you shave infrequently?  Do you bother using a shave product, or not?

*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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A Silver Polish I Actually Like – Revlon’s Sterling

This is going to be a super-quick post (no…really) as apparently this party-girl is still going despite the fact that technically Christmas is over.  Over the past week I’ve been burning the candle at both ends every single night except Christmas night…funny, that.  Anywho, while I wait for my drive to take me to my next party (despite the fact that I work tomorrow, as I did today…ugh), I figured I would post quick pics of a great silver polish I found on the cheap – $2.99CAD on sale at Lawtons drugstore.  Woot!  I am NOT a fan of silver in most forms of cosmetics (on my skintone), but this somehow works.

Behold Revlon’s Top Speed Nail Enamel in Sterling:

Revlon SterlingArtificial light

Revlon Sterling (3)With flash

Revlon Sterling (2)With flash

It’s kinda of blinding, no?  Quite eye-catching without being gaudy, and even though it’s more of a blue-based silver than I normally go for, I think it looks quite nice on me.  Maybe my issue is that I’ve been choosing the wrong silver tones all this time!  I’m finding more and more that shades I had once written off actually aren’t so bad.  I’m starting to think that for some colors, wearing clashing tones (as in, if your skin leans warm, wear cooler shades and vice versa), actually looks better.  The verdict is still out on whether or not my skin is cool or warm (some days I suspect I am just plain neutral) – I always thought I was a warmer skintone, but there are a lot of indications that point to that assumption being incorrect.  I tend to favor silver jewelry over gold, for example.  In any case…I’m starting to ramble and not make sense.  THIS is what happens when you write a post under an uber-short timeframe!

To the point.  This is a great silver that looks good on me (I think?  Thoughts?) and it applied very easily without any trouble (this is two coats).  I had previously forgone any more Revlon polishes but I think the fast-dry versions are much better than their regular counterparts.  And perhaps the new Revlon polishes are just fine.  Ahh, rambling again!  All I want to say is – if you see this around, give it a look.  Even at full price, which is something like $6CAD, it’s worth a shot and a great shade to wear for the holidays/New Years Eve!

Do you wear shades that ‘clash’ with your skintone?  Do you know if you’re warm or cool?  What was the determining factor?

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Taking Retinol Baby-Steps with Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me go on about wanting to incorporate a retinol product into my skincare regime by now…but I just have so many other serums and treatments kicking around I haven’t felt justified in spending the big bucks to pick one up just yet!  However, I did swipe a wallet-friendly *lite* version back in July – Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel.  Vitamin A is the basis of retinol, however, this isn’t ‘true’ retinol but sort of the entry-level version (more on that in a minute).  I thought with the nature of my finicky skin it would be wise to start small and work up to the hard stuff, and for $14CAD (for 220mL) at Shoppers this seemed like a good bet!  But does it work??

First of all, the product claims to be a “refreshing formula that helps diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles” and through the vitamin A it will “enhance skin’s youthful appearance.”  On top of that, its supposed to be a “fast-absorbing water-based gel great for oily or blemish-prone skin, and leaves skin feeling soft, supple and smooth.”  ALSO, you’ll be pleased to know it’s cruelty-free, paraben-free, and eco-friendly, and is oil-free, which is majorly appealing in the crazy humid weather we had this summer.  Sounds all sorts of awesome, eh?

I used this product at night for about a month and it did leave my oilier skin hydrated without feeling greasy at all – though it didn’t seem to do much else.  While vitamin A is the second ingredient after water, in this form (retinyl palmitate), it’s not actually retinol – which means that it doesn’t stimulate cell turnover or exfoliate the skin.  Because it’s much less aggressive than retinol, however, it can be a great option for those with sensitive skin (me) as in high concentrations like this, it still can plump the skin and increase collagen production.  As I only used it for a shorter period of time (as my skin has been freaky everywhere pretty much all of August for no reason, which means – back to super-basics), I may not have given it a fair chance to ‘wow’ me.

Rubbed into the skin

All in all, once my skin chills out, I’m definitely give this another shot – if nothing else its a nice moisturizer for sensitive, oily skin and absorbs quickly so you can use it under makeup, too.  And the bottle is HUGE for the price, so this will last ages!  The only actual concern I have is that the last ingredients note ‘natural and fragrant oils,’ of which I’m wary – but I seemed to have no problems while using it so until I do I will just be aware.

Have you tried any retinol or vitamin A products that you can suggest?  What is your ultimate ‘good skin’ potion?

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Kate x Rimmel Lipstick in 06 Might Be Too Much for Me

Unlike Makeup Morsels, I might fight you to TAKE this lipstick away…

Ok, it’s not that bad – and in fact, for some I suspect it might be really good.  But I am VERY not sure about this color on me.  Its in your face but I don’t think in a good way.

The new(ish) Kate x Rimmel lipsticks boast a variety of bold, saturated shades that are probably every lipstick-wearer’s dream.  They’re creamy and easily opaque, and Kate Moss made ‘em by hand (no, really!).  Well, at least she endorses them, so they’ve got to be cool, right?

The case is actually quite sleek and attractive, jet black with Kate’s ‘signature’ on the side written in red, with not much else.  Alongside my other higher-end lippies, it fits right in.

The shade I selected was 06, a bright deep pink that leans more warm than cool.  I envisioned myself wearing this and little else, much like the J Crew models (god they make that look good!).  However, because this shade is SO opaque, it actually looks a little….I dunno, fake somehow?  As if wearing a screaming pink lipstick isn’t fake enough, right?

Sunlight

Flash

Natural light

Aside from perhaps the poor shade choice,  I also find this lipstick to highlight any imperfections on the lips (so be sure to prep very carefully), and while it’s creamy, it’s not particularly moisturizing so I would opt to apply a thin layer of balm beforehand if you have drier lips.  It’s not terribly problematic, but I’ve worn some lipsticks just as is so it’s something to note.  Also, the scent is typical Rimmel, which is to say – sort of cinnamon-y?  I don’t know what that scent is but I’m not a huge fan.  It’s not overpowering or noticeable once worn, but it’s kinda weird.

Overall I’d probably pick up another shade of these as they’re fairly inexpensive (mine was on sale for around $5.79 but they’re probably around $8CAD full price), they have a fun shade range, and they do apply and wear well.  If you’re easing your way into wearing a ‘trendy’ lip color, this is a good way to go.

Do you think this is too bright for me?  What shade of lipstick do you have a hard time wearing?

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Favorite Product of the Month: Biotin!

I’m a little delinquent getting this post out, but better late than never!!  Especially since this is something I’m really digging a lot!

For this installment of my fave product, I struggled to think of something that I was totally in love with this month.  With all the skin problems I had, nothing seemed to be doing it for me.  However, after putting in a serious effort to find the culprit (the LM concealer, as well as sheets/towels washed in ‘bad’ [aka fragranced] detergent), as well as incorporating some Evening Primrose Oil capsules into the mix (thanks Mom Eugenia!!), I’m happy to announce that my skin is back to normal and feeling better than ever :)  So, once that was out of the way, I was able to think more clearly about a product that kicked butt this month, and I had a brainwave while I was walking to work (where all my most brilliant thoughts occur, natch) – how about a beauty-related product??  Something that helps increase my ‘beauty’ but isn’t something you apply, exactly.  Lo and behold, I found this month’s HG – the vitamin Biotin!
A couple years back, I got a tip from my hairdresser about biotin being great for hair growth, something I struggle with because my hair grows painfully slow (because curly hair essentially grows in a circle – you know what I mean??).  From his salon, I bought a teeny-tiny jar of powdered biotin that you were supposed to take twice a day.  However, that cost me like $27 and lasted maybe a month – wayyy too much investment for me!  So, I stopped taking it for a year or more.  However, back in the Fall, one of my fave SA’s from Shoppers was talking about taking it and how well it was working for her.  I marched to the vitamin aisle and found a 100-capsule bottle of it, on sale no less, for $5 (it’s regularly around $10CAD)!!  I quickly bought it and started using it immediately.

The first month or so I didn’t notice any change, though I had no expectations.  It wasn’t until I straightened my hair back in late January that I realized just how long my hair had gotten – it had easily grown inches in the span of a couple months, which is HUGE for me since my hair usually grows that much in a year (or it feels like, anyway!).  On the bottle is says it helps the body to metabolize fats and carbohydrates to produce energy.  I don’t know how that translates to my health overall, but I do know that my HAIR got a major energy boost or something, and I’m loving it!  I’ve also noticed that the little baby hairs by my hairline have started to finally get longer – something that has always driven me crazy to no end.  It’s a miracle product I tell you!

Please excuse the shitty quality photo :S

Additionally, though my nails have always grown fairly quickly, I do notice that they’ve gotten even more unruly – I have to trim them constantly as they get to the ‘too long to type’ phase within a week.  I’m certain that’s an added effect of the biotin as well.  Oh!  And there’s also evidence that it can help eczema as well – obviously it didn’t do much for my face, but I have noticed that my body has had a noticeable lack of flare-ups lately.  Coincidence?

Long story short: for anyone who is looking to boost their hair and nail growth (and possibly thickness/strength, though I can’t comment on either of those issues so I can’t say for certain), definitely check out a bottle of Biotin from your local drugstore – I can vouch for the fact that it really seems to work!  Just one pill a day…I plan to continue taking this until the time comes when I straighten and chop all my hair off like Halle Berry….when I’m like 50.  The day WILL come, but I’m not quite ready for that right now my friends :D

It is just ridiculous how beautiful she is!

Have you tried Biotin before?  Do you take any supplements for skin or haircare reasons?  And out of curiosity (re: jealousy) – how fast does your hair grow?

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Blogging is Hard Work!

Good evening my pretties :) I just spent the better part of two hours trying to figure out how to create a Facebook page for this blog, and create a ‘Like’ box, and then get it to actually work…OMFG, I’m not a computer genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m no schlump either, and I could not figure out this stuff for the life of me! I *think* I’ve got it all working now, so enjoy! Unfortunately, spending all this time on blog maintenance and improvement has left me no time (or energy) to write anything serious about beauty, but let’s see what I can come up with in a pinch. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

- Took a stroll to Mills today on my lunch break and checked out the new Bobbi Brown Rose Gold collection. Sad to say (but kind of happy at the same time), that nothing caught my eye AT ALL – I was considering the Rose Gold Shimmer Brick, but it’s more pink than I’d like. I think I might check out the Nectar and Bronze versions more closely the next time around – they’re more my speed (re: warmer!).

- Clinique is on GWP at The Bay, and I must say it’s a pretty awesome gift! They have two new products offered (both which I’ve mentioned/reviewed previously) – the mega-blockbuster Repairwear Laser Focus, and the Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer; as well as a Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, and two lipsticks and a palette of two shadows and a blush. You get to choose your color palette – either neutrals (Blushing Nude & Think Bronze lippie, and complimenting nude shadows and blush) or Violets (Heather Moon and A Different Grape, pllus complimenting violet-toned shadows and blush). The gift started Wednesday, February 8th, and we had a great first day! It runs until February 26th, but only while quantities last, so get your butt in gear! It’s yours with any purchase of $28.50CAD or more :)- While I was at the mall, on a quick break from the counter, I went into Chatter Salon and saw that they had the new OPI Holland Collection available for sale – right on schedule! I picked up two shades – can you guess which ones?? You won’t have to wait long; I’ll be posting swatches before the week is out!

- I was at Sephora this past Sunday and picked up a new day moisturizer to battle this cold, windy weather – Boscia’s Restorative Day Moisture Cream, a fragrance-free ultra-hydrating moisturizer which is supposed to have an ingredient in it that has a cortisone-like effect that helps calm the skin and reduce sensitivity – ideal for my skin!  However, it bugged me that online it sells with an SPF, but in stores here in Canada it comes without.  I got home, checked to see if I was ‘allowed’ to buy with it the sunscreen online (because you know we sometimes have restrictions), and when I discovered I was able, I purchased it again (lol).  I plan on returning the one sans-SPF – I’m just not down with having to add another step, you know what I mean?  Geez louise, we already do enough!- I picked up some facial wipes yesterday at Lawtons to use when I go to the gym at lunch – I was feeling gross running with a full-face of makeup on and not wiping it off either before or after, and I just don’t have time to shower etc. during my break.  They’re Simple Kind to Skin Facial Wipes (I can’t remember if I just got the cleansing ones or the exfoliating ones) – they don’t have fragrance or harsh ingredients in them so they’re perfect for anyone with touchy skin!  I’ve only used them once but had absolutely no reaction to them at all – no stinging or dryness – so I’m pretty pumped about them!

I was just going to say “And that’s about all the beauty-related biz I got up to this week” but uh…that was a pretty busy week in my beauty world!!  I’m really struggling with holding myself from going on a mega shopping spree – constant additions to my lemmings list is plaguing me daily.  I gotta get a hold of myself!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend – I know I sure am!  It’s going to be busy as usual, but at least I get to sleep in one day :)

What kind of things have you been up to in your beauty world??

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Review: L’Oreal La Couleur Infallible 24 Hour Shadow

When L’Oreal came out with the La Couleur Infallible shadows, I had to suppress a laugh, as they were so obviously mimicking Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows – similar shades, similar packaging, with the same little black insert inside to keep the powder flat. Their marketing scheme was the same too – exceptionally long wear and intense pigmentation.  Having picked up one of the GA shadows last year, I was skeptical that they would measure up – the GA shadows are, in a word, unbelievable.  Ridiculously pigmented, they do not smudge, budge or fade over the course of a day, and do not require primer whatsoever.  And they contain multiple colors in each pot which mix together to create one gorgeous shadow with incredible depth.  Could L’Oreal even stand a chance at being as good?

Last week, I had my chance to find out.  While the Infallible shadows initially didn’t tempt me at all, when I was skulking around Shoppers for something (anything!) to buy (it happens), I saw that these were on sale, from something like $11.99CAD to $6.99CAD.  I noticed they had a great burnished red shade, Golden Mahogany, that reminded me strongly of another L’Oreal shade I had bought eons ago – Five Alarm – which I loved.  I decided to give in an pick one up – research for the blog, you see.  It didn’t seem so bad since it was on sale.

Once home, I compared it to Five Alarm, and initially they seemed quite similar:Five Alarm is a loose shadow, while the Infallible shadows are sort of this loosely pressed shadow, which feels very smooth to the touch (just like GA’s).  Above, they both are shimmering deep reds with a sort of slight bronze leaning.  However, when swatched, the differences become more apparent:

Golden Mahogany on left, Five Alarm on right.

Golden Mahogany is clearly more pigmented and dense, while Five Alarm pales in comparison.  Also, Five Alarm is more sparkly, while Golden Mahogany imparts a deep metallic effect, which I find more wearable.  From past experience, Five Alarm does not stay put very well – perhaps four hours at the most before it starts to fade.  Golden Mahogany, on the other hand, wore quite well all day (without primer), even through a vigorous run at the gym.  However, none of this is surprizing, as Five Alarm is over 10 years old (gasp!) and I would expect technology to have improved since then :)

Comparing the formulation of L’Oreal’s Infallible shadows, to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense, is another story.  While the Infallible shadows are certainly impressive regarding pigmentation and wear compared to many other drugstore shadows, Giorgio Armani’s (original) version kick L’Oreal’s butt.  Golden Mahogany wore well considering I went for a mid-day run, but by the end of the day it had faded considerably.  Still visible, but not nearly as intense – in the future, I would definitely use a primer.  Giorgio Armani’s shadows last all day and then some, without the need for a primer at all.  The pigmentation of Golden Mahogany, while very good, still doesn’t come close to the insane pigmentation of the Eyes to Kill shadows, which truly blow my mind – with just the barest touch of a finger, you get rich, full opacity in one stroke.

Ultimately, my conclusion is that if you’re looking for a (MUCH) cheaper alternative to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows, you might be appeased by these, but will have to put in a bit more work to get the same effect.  That’s not to deter you though, as even at full price these are nearly a quarter less than the Giorgio Armani shadows, which is kind of a big deal.  If you find them on sale, I definitely recommend grabbing one (or a few) as they do have great shades, and are an exceptional drugstore shadow overall.  They’re just no Eyes to Kill…those babies are one of a kind!

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I’ve Got the Blues: L.A. Girl Color Addict in Idol and Essence Denim Wanted in My Boyfriend’s Jeans

Something is very wrong with me lately – I have next to no interest in buying any new nail polish!  Even most of the Spring shades that are cropping up here and there hold no real allure for me.  So unlike me!  My dedication to wearing polish hasn’t waned, but buying it sure has.  I think it might be due to the fact that within the next 10 months, I have plans to travel to Jamaica (just booked – we’re going to the Sandals Whitehouse!!), possibly Vancouver, possibly Montreal, possibly Alaska/Yukon, Newfoundland, and New Zealand (for five weeks!!!!).  So….yeah.  Looks like my priority this year is travel, with cosmetics taking a (slight) backburner – though don’t fret, it just means my purchases will be more thoughtful, and by extension, totally awesome :DANYWAY (I apologize for my tendency to ramble lol).  I have unworn/unswatched shades to show you, that will tide you (and me) over until that day comes when I once again feel the call of the polish (wow, I’m dramatic tonight, aren’t I?!).  Let’s see what I got!

The first polish I’m going to show you is Essence My Boyfriend’s Jeans, from the Denim Wanted collection last year, which had I think three shades.  I first mentioned this polish when I finally got my hands on Lippmann’s Across the Universe.  Essence is a very reasonably priced nail polish company that’s made in Scotland (though I think it is a German brand) – you can buy it at Shoppers Drug Mart for between $1.99-4.99.  My Boyfriend’s Jeans is a medium blue creme with a slight teal leaning.  Almost fully opaque in one coat, it has an easy flowing formula, with good consistency that’s not too thick or thin.  It’s fairly shiny on it’s own, as you can see below (no top coat was used).  Two coats and you’re good to go!

L.A. Girls Color Addict in Idol was a shade I picked up way back, when I was desperately on the hunt for a shade similar to Dior’s Bond Street, a beautiful dark slate-blue.  This doesn’t really compare, but is still pretty nonetheless.  It’s a dusky, muted, grayed-out deep blue with golden shimmer.  It’s also quite opaque, with a slightly thick formula that isn’t really problematic.  If you were in a rush you could get away with one coat (I’ve got just one on the pinky nail for reference), but I don’t recommend that kind of application as it can chip much faster.  It’s also pretty glossy without any top coat (as shown below).I appreciate that the shimmer in this polish is readily apparent, and you don’t have to get it at certain angles, or in sunlight, to make it show up.  It’s a rather unique shade and I like that the golden shimmer in a cool-toned base make it wearable for warmer and cooler skintones. L.A. Girls polishes retail at Lawtons for around $4-5CAD, so it’s a pretty good deal too.

I quite like both of these polishes, maybe more so the L.A. Girls due to it’s uniqueness, and they’ll be sticking around in my stash for a while.  Yay to polishes I like! :)  Blue is definitely one of my favorite shades, I just find it works with just about everything and anyone.

Is anyone else on a polish hiatus?  What do you think causes this phenomenon?  Any suggestions on how I can get out of it??

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