Though I’ve worked for Clinique since 2005 (almost 10 years, crazy!), I’ve never been head over heels for their makeup – it’s always been a bit too mundane for me, a bit too soft. Ever since they re-launched and re-vamped the super-popular Chubby Sticks (we used to have them back in the day, did you know?), Clinique has been upping their makeup game, and I’ve been taking notice. In my last gratis from Clinique back in early spring, I ordered two Cheek Pops ($24CAD) to try as I had read so many great reviews on them, and since I was getting them for free – hey, why not? Being a *wee bit* into blush, I was excited to try these out.
The two shades I went with were Peach Pop, a peachy-orange, and Berry Pop, a fuchsia-berry shade. As I discovered a while ago, fuchsia is kind of my JAM, and so I was unsurprized to find that Berry Pop looked lovely on my skin. Interestingly, the shade isn’t comparable to anything else I own – all my other fuchsia shades were MUCH cooler, whereas Berry Pop is, well – more berry!
Orange-y tones however, are not often flattering on my skin tone, and Peach Pop initially seemed like a poor choice, as I found it looked kind of dull and blah. I stuck it in my train case (where all my ‘extra’ makeup is stored) and forgot about it throughout the rest of spring and summer months.
When September hit, I did my annual rotation of makeup products – which I tend to do every season, and sometimes more if I’m feeling bored – and I decided to give Peach Pop another go, as I felt it’s soft peachy tones would work well with earthy, fall-appropriate shades, as well as not compete with any bold eye or lip looks I tend to favour during this season. Surprizingly, for whatever reason, I fell madly in love with the shade this time around, and find myself reaching for it the most out of my edited collection of ‘fall’ blushes. It gives a wonderful ‘fresh’ glow to my skin and wears equally well with heavier makeup as with very simple, basic looks. I should have known better, in truth – Peach Pop is very similar to Chanel’s Blush Creme in Revelation, which I love and wear the heck out of when my tan has faded (it’s too soft to wear otherwise).
I must attribute some of this new-found love to my friend Larie, who recently discovered peach herself. She always gets me thinking outside the box!
Wearing Clinique Peach Pop…sorry for the less than stellar photo, it has been overcast for the past few days, and late afternoon sun can by tricky! But FYI – this photo was taken with my new iPhone 6! Not a bad shot when you think of it that way, eh? The camera on it is pretty sweet :)
Though I haven’t worn Berry Pop too often (to me it’s a more winter/spring shade), I suspect I will enjoy it just as much as Peach Pop when the time comes. These blushes are fool-proof to apply, going on softly and subtly if you so desire, but building up to a beautiful bold color if that’s your preference instead. I adore the satin finish that imparts a soft glow to the skin without any shimmer whatsoever (this is my favorite blush formula), and they blend out like a dream. And as much as I’m not a ‘cute-sy’ person when it comes to packaging, I think these little pots are adorable! Love the clear glass packaging, bypassing anything tacky or twee-looking, and the flower pattern inside is intricate and sweet without being saccharine.
I probably should have written about these a long time ago, eh!?
What was the last product you bought that ended up being a sleeper hit for you?
I’m back with another instalment of my challenge to reduce the number of eyeshadows in my collection! Today we’re going to tackle some of the more neutral shades from the Urban Decay BoS III palette, as well as a couple from the Kat Von D Spellbinding palette (which has also been completely deconstructed and the packaging thrown away, huzzah!).
Let’s dive right in, starting with everyone’s favourite eyeshadow shade, taupe!
Urban Decay Bordello
Ok, I tricked you a bit here, because while I compared Bordello to numerous purple-leaning taupes in my collection, Bordello is actually more of a mauve. It didn’t really have any identicals in my stash, but there were a number of shades that looked close, so I swatched ‘em all for good measure.
Left to right: MAC Sable, Urban Decay Rehab, bareMinerals Meteorite, Sephora + Pantone Tuscany, Urban Decay Bordello, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian, Hourglass Exhibition duo (pale lilac-taupe side)
Swatched on my darker skin, it looks the most similar to the pale shades of Hourglass’ Exhibition duo. This is unsurprising to me, because Bordello doesn’t look very nice on my skin tone – too light and too greyed out – and neither does the Hourglass shade. Since I LOVE the deep eggplant side of the Exhibition duo, I’m not getting rid of that anytime soon, so Bordello can hit the road – I don’t need TWO unflattering shades in my collection!
*On a side note, though I seem to have quite a few, purply-taupes are not generally my friends. As mentioned, if they lean too grey, they tend to wash me out terribly. My favourites from the above are Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Rehab, bareMinerals Meteorite, and MAC’s Shale. It is entirely likely that I will be getting rid of the Sephora + Pantone shade, and I’m battling with keeping LMdB Corinthian – it’s much-loved by the beauty community, but on me it looks kind of blah. ~cries~
Onwards! Next we have the blacks/charcoals/dark browns from my collection (hint: there aren’t many!).
Urban Decay Perversion & Kat Von D Dark Throne
It’s probably strange to compare brown to black, but truth be told – I never use these kinds of shades (sacrilege, I know), so any deep dark shade like this is all one and the same to me. Which is to say, I only NEED one – and the winner here is Espresso, since it comes in the only palette I have left – Laura Mercier’s Artists Palette from Holiday 2013. The other two are fine, but as you can see, Perversion isn’t all that black, and Dark Throne (which to be fair is a charcoal shade, not black) is kinda patchy. Bye bye!
Finally we have a whole slew of pale shimmery shadows from both the UD and Kat Von D palettes…let’s get this over and done with. These shades are the bane of my existence!
Urban Decay & Kat Von D Light Shimmery Blah Blah Blah SMACKDOWN
Displayed together, you can see some similarities, yes, but I bet to most of your eyes there are also quite a few differences, eh? HA, I say to you. Behold:
As you can see, these are easily grouped into three separate areas in my swatches, and each section has almost no discernible difference on my skin. In the first, the more golden shades, Maui Wowie stands out the most – but I hate that it has glitter bits in it. The fallout doesn’t look too bad here, but it annoys me when I wear it, so it’s going. The other two were in the SAME PALETTE and yet look almost identical on my skin. I decided to keep one, Galore, which is a hint more rose-gold on me and therefore makes it better :)
In the second grouping, Instaglam has better pigmentation than Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, and it doesn’t have that blasted glitter – you can see the fallout here more plainly. UGH. However, truth be told I wouldn’t wear either of these shades much, if at all – too frosty and garish on me – so I’m getting rid of them both.
Finally, we have the frosty whites. I FREAKIN’ HATE these kinds of shades, and I’m dead serious when I say that I will skip a palette altogether (no matter what size) if they have a shade like this in there, because I’ll NEVER use it. I know some gals of darker skin use these to do really dramatic looks, but even at my most OUT THERE in terms of makeup, I still wouldn’t go this all-in. I just can’t, you guys! I guess I’m a more natural girl at heart than I even realized. And so, sayonara to both Holy Bible and Uzi (like I’d keep that fall-out-tastic shadow anyway! BAH!).
Urban Decay Snatch
I was just about to do a recap, stating that I have now finished swatching all the BoS III shades, when I realized I never talked about Snatch. Oops!
I missed this one because I thought I had no similar peachy shades in my collection. However, I just happened to have MAC’s All That Glitters sitting here next to me, and I thought I’d compare the two just for the hell of it.
I sure am glad I did! Though these are exact dupes, they’re close enough for me – and I love All That Glitters so much, that I’d never choose Snatch over it. I was going to keep it by default since I didn’t have a close match, but now that it clearly does – one more down! Yeehaw!
OK! Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows III swatch-a-thon – COMPLETE. Let’s do a recap thus far: of the 16 shades in the palette, I am keeping a mere 6 (Suspect, Smog, Radium, Haight, Psychedelic Sister, and Rockstar). I’ve also made great headway with the Kat Von D palette, so far eliminating 7 shades (Bukowski, Babe, Gunner, Dark Throne, Precious, Instaglam, and Holy Bible) and keeping 5 (Fallen, Wonderland, 8 Bit, Stupid Autocorrect, and Galore). Only 12 more to go!
I am TOTALLY buying a few of the shadows on my wish list after all this is done! :)
Do you have any goals set for an ‘appropriate’ number of particular beauty products (eg. only 20 lipsticks, 40 eyeshadows, etc.)?
Congratulations to Jennifer A., who has won the Summer Beauty Envy Bag! She has already been contacted and claimed her prize. Thanks to all who entered; we look forward to sharing more of our favorites next season!
As summer has now come to an end (sorry guys, I know it’s hard to accept!), I find myself reminiscing about the past season and feeling quite content that I really made the most of it this year. While I generally have a wonderfully fun-filled summer season every year, this one in particular felt very satisfying. I suspect that due to the lack of weddings (only one as opposed to the usual five or six!), I had an unusual abundance of time in which to spend on my own pursuits.
Because this summer was one of my favourites, I thought perhaps it might be nice to share some of the things I got up to and sort-of re-live the whole season in all it’s glory, all over again :) Get comfortable, because photos abound!
This summer, I:
1) Traveled to Orlando, Florida
2) Went away to Country Stiles B&B for my mom’s birthday
3) Spent a few hours with the pup (aka our 6 year old chocolate lab Ally) at Martinique Beach in Nova Scotia (about an hour away from where we live)
4) Attended a wedding at Hatfield Farms (conveniently located 10 minutes from my house)
5) Had a huge laugh watching co-workers get soaked participating in a charity dunk tank during Public Service Week (an annual event for federal public servants such as myself)
6) Celebrated our anniversary :)
7) Had a weekend away indulging in a lot of wine, laughs and beautiful scenery with my mom at Liscombe Lodge in Nova Scotia
8) Made two lots of strawberry jam to give away as gifts (and one lot of raspberry – my fave!)
9) Saw the AWESOME Canadian band July Talk (amongst other acts such as Death Cab for Cutie and The Killers) at the Big Red Fest in P.E.I.
10) Bought some Hakuhodo brushes! (they’re lovely!)
11) Watched a beautiful sunset and enjoyed nature with my mom and my uncle’s family at the Shangri-la Cottages in Noel, Nova Scotia
12) Stood in crazy line-ups to eat at this years’ annual Halifax Food Truck Party….so worth it!
13) Started a new tradition when I made hashbrown casserole for my friend, who’d never had it (we literally have HBC Fridays now lol)
14) Played my hand (and lost as usual) during my friend’s family’s annual washer toss tourney
And finally, the biggest event of them all was that we:
15) Created a new member to join our little family in March 2015!!
I’ve been dying to share the news with all of you, but obviously had to wait ’til the time was right. I’m 14 weeks along now – will be 15 weeks tomorrow – and things have been pretty easy so far, truth be told. Zero ‘morning’ sickness, and mostly just had the regular tiredness that comes along with the first trimester. I’m starting to experience some back pain, but all in all its been very stress-free and relaxed. I’ve been very fortunate! It definitely makes me love being pregnant that much more :D
So, aside from a very busy summer, this is another big reason why I haven’t been posting as often. Bedtime comes early! ;) And because I’ve been super busy with work, taking French lessons, working extra shifts at Clinique, and trying to get this darn condo sold, my spare time is often spent VERY low-key – mostly just reading and sleeping (lol). I’ve also started taking prenatal yoga classes once a week, which will be awesome but DAAAAAMN I’m not very good at slowing down, huh?
Now that I’m starting to get a bit of my energy back, I’m hoping to post more regularly. I haven’t been buying many cosmetics due to saving for the new house and in preparation for the baby, but I have my ‘Operation Reduce‘ that is still on-going, and I’m working on a couple new ideas to talk about. And every so often, I do pick up a treat ;)
Overall, life has been pretty amazing these past few months! I can only imagine it will continue as we start on this new, exciting adventure. I’m so totally ready (as much as you can be, I suppose)!!! I hope all of you have had equally wonderful summer holidays – don’t forget to think back on all the fun you had, once the weather turns and you’re cursing the bitter cold! Maybe those memories will sustain you ’til next year ;)
How was your summer? Do tell!
I have been exceedingly good this season, and have picked up next to nothing from the Fall 2014 collections – only recently caving to the allure of Zoya’s Ignite collection and ordering both Remy (metallic indigo with gold and copper shimmer) and India (deep red with gold metallic shimmer) polishes. However, that doesn’t mean that my wish list still isn’t a mile long, or that I don’t pine away for products every minute of every day. Right now, my ‘Loves’ list on Sephora is like, 4 pages and growing daily…oops! I have been holding out for the usual 15% off sale they have right around the beginning of fall, and the products show above are on the ‘serious contenders’ list for purchase:
I feel that this list is half frivolous, half reasonable. The lipsticks, shadows and blush I don’t *need* of course, but I’ve been dying to try both lipstick formulas so it’s probably time I do that; the shadows and blush, well ~shrugs~ I’m human, after all! I desperately need a Z palette to put all of my newly depotted shadows in, and I want to try the LM powder under my eyes to set my concealer – I’m hoping it’ll also give a nice brightening boost, as sometimes regular powder looks too flat and does nothing to improve the darkness. Finally, I’m running low on most of my base coats, and I’ve been curious about the Formula X ‘System’ so this might kill two birds with one stone.
What’s on your wish list this fall??
I don’t know about everywhere else, but for the past few weeks it’s definitely felt like fall here in Hali (but at least it’s not SNOW, good grief). The days are still warm, but the mornings and evenings have a definitely chill in the air. Personally, I’m loving it because I love fall, and I far prefer to sleep in the cool than the sticky heat! But the drop in temperature does signal that it’s time to switch up my skincare routine – my lips are starting to get a bit flaky again and the skin around my mouth is more sensitive and dry.
A few products landed at my door last month that have been ideal to help my skin transition into fall with ease: Korres Lip Butters in Guava and Pomegranate ($19CAD ea.), and the Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer ($39CAD) from the brand.
Though I have tried a couple Korres skincare products before, it’s been a while since I’ve dallied with the brand. I’ve read numerous reviews on their Lip Butters before, but didn’t know too much about their slew of Primers (they also have a Pomegranate Mattifying Primer, and a Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer, as well as a plain Face Primer).
The Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer is a ‘skin-perfecting and silicone-free face primer‘ which is formulated with Greek yoghurt, which is touted to be very nourishing. Like any primer, it assists with improving makeup longevity and smoother application. This particular formulation, which is free of parabens or sulfates, is also supposed to be idea for sensitive skin, and has a ‘breathable gel texture that glides onto skin leaving a dewy finish.’ The texture is more like a cream-gel, which I like as it provides light moisture without being heavy. I also like that it’s silicone-free, which again keeps it from really feeling primer-ish on the skin. The only real turn-off I have is the scent, which is fairly strong and a mix of floral-herbal. I wore this for several days in a row, and it didn’t seem to cause any irritation to my skin, but I will be wary during use nonetheless. The scent does dissipate after a while.
I actually found that using this in the summer was OK – while it didn’t keep oiliness at bay, if used alone as my moisturizer/primer, it allowed my makeup to wear longer and I didn’t turn into a complete oil-slick. However, I think this will be particularly effective in the fall and winter, when my skin turns more normal than oily. I’m hoping it will be just the ticket to get a dewy, glowing look, rather than dehydrated due to moisture-sucking blustery cold days and indoor heating.
The Lip Butters are a lovely, medium-thick balm which applies easily to the lips and is not waxy in the least. It’s my favourite kind of texture to a balm – extremely comfortable to wear, yet doesn’t disappear in seconds requiring you to apply more every five minutes. And the scent isn’t too shabby either ;) (it says it contains ‘aroma (flavour)’ in the ingredients but doesn’t elaborate what that could be – they also say that the product contains no synthetic fragrances, and so far it hasn’t caused any irritation for me, so we’ll just go with it)
I’ve been wearing the Guava shade regularly (below) as my daily balm, as it’s just clear – as I said, my lips have been dry and rough the past week or so, and this has helped keep them hydrated and comfortable. I plan to start incorporating the Pomegranate shade (above), a ‘sheer coral’, into my lip wardrobe as well to give me that nice, stained lip that looks so lush in fall.
I just want to note a few things that kind of alerted me when I first read the ingredients – polybutene is a liquid ogliomer which is used as a binding element in cosmetics and is derived from petroleum (EWG score of 1); trimethylolpropane triisostearate is a occlusive skin-conditioning agent (EWG score of 0); hydrogenated polydecene is a skin-conditioning agent (EWG score of 2); and polyethylene is a binding agent as well (EWG score of 1). The reason I wanted to share that is because as a consumer who reads ingredients, I was a bit concerned that all these things that sounded rather ominous – but turns out they’re relatively harmless.
Overall, I’m pleased with these products and encouraged to try more Korres products in the future. Unfortunately, the brand is phasing out it’s makeup line to focus more on skincare, so I suspect primers and lip conditioners will be the extent of it’s offerings moving forward. Happily, both are quite lovely and there are primers to suit everyone’s needs, so it’s not a total loss! I’m really keen to see how the Greek Yoghurt primer works in the late fall/winter and if it gives me the dewy (and not greasy) look I’m always trying to achieve!
Have you tried Korres skincare products before? Do you ever use a primer to double as your moisturizer? What kind of texture do you like in a lip treatment?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I know Tracy just reviewed this brand, but that’s what happens when you’re a blogger in Canada – there is bound to be overlap! And I always feel that each person can offer a different take on products, due to different skin types etc. A well-rounded view of a product is always a bonus :)
In this neck of the woods, I’m loving all these new skincare brands landing at Shoppers these days! Launched in Canada on August 11th, the newest kid on the block is Amie Naturally Kind Skincare, which is an award-winning, gentle skincare line that uses high-quality, naturally-derived plant and botanical extracts in their formulas. They have a range of products, from cleansers, to masks, to moisturizers – and a few things in between (toners, exfoliants, and even a makeup remover!).
I received a nice array of products to test out, and unsurprisingly I got right to it! Here’s what I received, with it’s description along with a few of my thoughts:
Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Daily Wash
“Gentle enough to use every day. Contains green apple, lemon and exfoliating blueberry seeds. Soap-free, oil-free.” This daily wash is exceptionally gentle on the skin. I’m not sure how truly ‘exfoliating’ it is through the blueberry seeds so just a heads up if you’re looking for a nice scrubby feeling – but I guess the inclusion of green apple offers some chemical exfoliation through it’s acids. It foams up quite a bit, but I found that it left my skin feeling really nice – clean but not stripped in the least. The only real issue I had was that it didn’t rinse away too easily; the gel sort of stuck to the skin a bit so it took a bit of elbow grease to wash it all off.
Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask
“A wonderfully refreshing deep-cleansing treatment that draws out dirt, oiliness and impurities leaving skin feeling clear, clean and smooth.” The first time I tried this mask, I was terrified – a minute after application, there is this SERIOUS cooling sensation that bordered on burny-tingly, and I worried I was going to have a terrible reaction. However, after a few more minutes, the sensation dulls considerably and it’s just nice and refreshing. When I rinsed it away after 10 minutes, my skin felt lovely – fresh and smooth. I didn’t experience any adverse reaction to it at all, despite the scary-intense feeling at the beginning.
Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturiser
“Controls oiliness and shine, while hydrating and keeping skin soft. With rosehip, bilberry and Vitamin E.” A beautifully light moisturizer, that absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave the skin feeling sticky or greasy. I found that this minimally controlled oiliness and shine on my combo-oily skin, but honestly – nothing has been working on my skin to keep the oiliness at bay on my t-zone, so I wasn’t surprised. If nothing else, it’s a great light hydrator that would work particularly well with combination to normal skins. And I gotta say, I love that rosehip is included in the ingredients!
Morning Light Hydrating Daily Moisturiser
“Keeps skin soft, smooth and nourished all day long. Rich in rose extract, rosehip seed oil and mallow.” As this sounded a bit heavier than the Morning Dew moisturizer, I used this in the evening. Again, it was nice and moisturizing without being heavy at all. It didn’t dry as ‘matte’ on my skin as the Matte-Finish moisturizer, but I still think it would be ideal on combo-normal to even slightly dry skins.
I’m going to be up front with you: these products are all quite scented. It’s a wonderful scent – clean and fresh and quite pleasant, truly – but for this scent-adverse gal, it freaked me out A LOT and made my testing of these products somewhat limited. With the exfoliating wash and deep cleansing mask, I didn’t mind too much because they washed off, but I felt very uncomfortable wearing the two moisturizers, the scent of which I could smell on my skin all day long. I only tested them a couple times each, because I just could NOT get past how scented they were. If you’re into scent in your skincare, or if it doesn’t bother you, I’d say these are great products to check out – affordable and free of paragons, sulphates, mineral oils and animal extracts. I don’t know if I’d recommend them for sensitive skins, as they say, due to the fragrance – but not all sensitive skin is sensitive to fragrance, so if scent doesn’t seem to irritate you, you should be fine.