Posts Tagged review
OMG. I’m still here. I know, it’s been ages! I picked up a few things today from Sephora in light of the 15% discount and it got me in the mood to post. Let’s do this!
Back at the end of November, I showed you guys my current skincare routine and mentioned a handful of products I had been trying from G.M. Collin. At that point, I gave you a quick overview of their Bota-Peptide Eye Contour, but I hadn’t yet tried the Bota-Peptide Concentrate. Today I wanted to give you a more in-depth review of both of these items since I’m long overdue!
First, a quick primer on peptides and why they’re important in the fight against aging skin. Peptides are amino acids that help bind moisture to the skin and help the skin to repair itself. More importantly, peptides applied topically to the skin encourage collagen production, which helps reverse some of the natural breakdown of collagen we experience over time (from age and external factors like sun and stress). Since collagen is what keeps our skin supple-looking and youthful, it’s a great idea to regularly use a product that boosts it’s production.
OK. So, the name ‘Bota-Peptide’ in both the eye treatment and serum is probably an indication we’re on the right track, yes? And indeed, both the Eye Contour and Concentrate are packed with a host of different peptides to battle the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles; the Eye Contour also is designed to reduce dark circles.
The Eye Contour ($96CAD) is a light eye serum that is somewhat hydrating as well (likely due to the Sodium Hyaluronate), as I can get away without any additional eye cream after using this (though note my undereye area isn’t particularly dry). Now that I’ve been using this daily for over 4 months (and wow, I just realized how long this has lasted!!!), I can confidently say that it has reduced any fine lines I’ve started to develop under my eyes – the area just looks so much smoother. I don’t know if my dark circles are reduced – I mean, they’re REALLY DARK so I have a long way to improvement – but the ingredient list boasts some badass circle-lightening ingredients (such as Vitamin K, caffeine and Haloxyl) that make me think they probably are lessened and I just haven’t been paying attention (oops).
Ingredients: Water, Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Phospholipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Steareth-20, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, PEG-6 Isostearate, Hesperetin Laurate, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate-20, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3, Squalane (Vegetal), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Oil, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Dextrin, Soybean (Glycine Soya), Caffeine, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Octyldodecanol, Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel (Wild Mango) Butter, Hydrogenated Cocoglycerides, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A).
The Concentrate ($132CAD) has a very similar texture to the Eye Contour, which feels neither silicone-y nor *too* thin, and has a clean scent that I don’t even really register when using (which is my preference). I use this in the evening and apply a facial oil over top, though in the summer I could probably get away with using it on it’s own as it seems to provide a very light veil of moisture (dry skins will still need a moisturizer though). It dispenses easily from an airless pump mechanism; generally I use 2 pumps and this covers my face and neck sufficiently. As I rotate my skincare, alternating with a retinoid product, I use this every 2nd evening, and I always notice in the morning how soft and smooth my skin feels after using this. As I have few wrinkles I didn’t notice any drastic results, but I will say that the expression lines in my forehead have decreased since using this, and I honestly just feel like my skin looks more youthful.
Ingredients: Water, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Glucose, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Cyclomethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Glycerin, Carbomer, Polysorbate-20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Butylene Glycol, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Di-Peptide-1, Cetyl Ester, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Glucosamine Hcl, Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Ferment, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Polydodecanamideaminium Triazadiphenylethylene Sulfonate, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Dimethicone Cosspolymer, Thermus Thermophillis Ferment, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyacrylamide, C13-C14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Dimethiconol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Acrylate-Acrylamide Copolymer, Polyisobutene, Fragrance, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil.
One other note: the PR person who sent this to me cautioned that as I have sensitive skin around my mouth, I might not want to use this in that area as it’s a powerful treatment product – however, after using it for the past several months, I’ve starting using it in that area anyway and have had absolutely no issues.
The final verdict? I really, really like these two products! I’m surprised at how much so. Though it pains me and my wallet, I actually think I’ll pick both of these up again when I run out – I just feel like they proof is in the pudding, both in my results and in the stellar ingredient lists. I mean, who doesn’t want their skin to look like this again?:
Have you tried any G.M. Collin products? Do you use any peptide-based products?
Several months ago, the lovely Chase Polan and her team sent along 2 products from her outstanding organic skincare line Kypris as a gift for me to enjoy. I was beyond excited to try more products from the brand, as I’d already fallen in love with the retinol alternative, Moonlight Catalyst (review here) and the newest addition to the family, the Body Elixir: Inflorescence (review here). However, I had skincare coming out of my ears at that point, and I didn’t want to open the bottles until I was ready to use them. In December, I finally had an ‘opening’ in my morning skincare routine, so I cracked open the Antioxidant Dew eagerly. Then, this month after finishing up another oil, I started applying the Beauty Elixir III in the evening as my final step, so now can talk about these products and share with you my experiences!
The Antioxidant Dew ($67US for 47mL) is an extremely lightweight, milky serum that is designed to restore strength, vitality and radiance to skin. As the name suggests, it’s loaded with antioxidants such as ferulic acid to fight free radicals, while also soothing inflammation and hydrating the skin.
There are many things to love about this serum: the beautifully light texture (SO perfect for layering!); how supple, calm and healthy my skin looks after use; how incredibly hydrated my skin feels with absolutely NO greasiness whatsoever. Though I generally use this sandwiched between a Vitamin C serum and a sunscreen, I’ve used alone on occasion and have felt no need for an additional layer of moisture. I also enjoy that this is free of essential oils so that all skins, reactive or otherwise, can use it without worry. Below is the ingredient list:
Water/Aqua, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Xylitylglucoside, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Algae, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phospholipids, Phragmites Communis (Reed) Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Poria Cocos Extract, Xylitol, Anhydroxylitol, Waltheria Indica Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Calophyllum Inophylum (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Superoxide Dismutase, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mannitol, Dextrin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Levulinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Gluconate, Xanthan Gum.
I think the biggest selling point for me is that I can wear this serum in the day – as many organic treatment products are oil-heavy, I find they can leave my skin a touch too shiny (though I suspect for the more dry-skinned out there that this isn’t a problem). I love that I can pair this with other products without feeling weighed down or suffocated. So beautiful!
The Beauty Elixir III – Prismatic Array ($150US for 47mL) is a face oil that is filled with actives like CoQ10 (antioxidant) and Vitamin C ester (boosts collagen), as well as phytonutrients and essential fatty acids, all without essential oils to accommodate especially sensitive complexions (like mine!). It’s designed to help repair signs of environmental stressors as well as softening, nourishing and moisturizing skin so it looks more luminous.
This oil is extremely nourishing – you can tell as soon as you press it into the skin that you’re getting a treat. It’s rich amber color gives it away, anyway! This is packed with awesome oils like grape seed, baobab, kukui nut, tamanu, pumpkin seed and prickly pear (aka barbary fig seed), as well as black raspberry seed and cranberry seed. So much goodness! I apply this at night as my last step over a peptide serum and it gives me the best glow. In the morning, I wake up with plump-looking, soft skin that doesn’t feel greasy (though I do avoid using this around my nose where I get the most oily). While I love oils, I don’t always find I notice their effects in the same way as a serum – the biggest factors in whether or not I will repurchase one are: Does it irritate my skin? (Nope.) Does it have long-lasting hydration? (Yep.) If it’s a blend, does it contain many of my favourite skincare oils? (Yep!). Check, check and CHECK.
Even though there are no essential oils in this mixture, I also love the way it smells! Like the best blend of natural oils with a hint of sweetness. It’s not your typical ‘earthy’ scent; you know, the kind that isn’t offensive exactly but it smells like dirt and trees and herbs? This is nothing like that – maybe it’s the inclusion of coconut oil. Which, while we’re on the topic, I was very nervous about (it’s why I hadn’t ordered this myself previously), but this serum hasn’t been a problem for my skin in the least, happily!
Helianthus annuus (Sunflower Seed) Oil, Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil, Vitis vinifera (Grape Seed) Oil, Adansonia digitata (baobab) Oil, Aleurites moloccans (Kukui) Oil, Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin Seed) Oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Opuntia engelmannii (Prickly Pear Seed) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Extract, Hippophae rhamonides (Seabuckthorn Bearry) Extract, Punica granatum (Pomegranate Seed) Extract, Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry Seed) Oil, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry Seed) Oil, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (From Licorice), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Non- GMO Mixed Tocopherols.
Clearly, I need to add these 2 fantastic products to my regular roster. There are just so many things to like about them, and about Kypris in general – Chase seems to be one of the loveliest people (she always sends hand-written, personalized notes with her packages); they consistently use one of my favourite oils, tamanu, in their formulations; and I appreciate their ethos on so many levels (some of which I talked about here). And, a newly important factor for me is that they’re cruelty free!
Though I do try and avoid essential oils when I can, the other 2 Beauty Elixirs (versions I & II) sound so appealing; I’ve never really tried any products where rose oil was a predominant feature (as it is in the Beauty Elixir I) so I think that’s next on my list! I will mention that though the Elixirs feel a bit cost prohibitive (upwards of $150US), you do get more bang for your buck as general oil blends are only 30mL – and I just discovered that they offer seasonal pairings on the site which give you a discounted price (for example, right now you can get the full sizes of the Beauty Elixir I and the Antioxidant Dew for $265US, which would normally cost you $292US). And recently I heard a tip from Sugar Mamma that resonated with me – if you truly love something, you won’t mind paying full price. I have a habit of sometimes trying to find alternatives for items that I love, and always feeling dissatisfied (and sometimes spending more in the process!). Don’t do it! Of course, you don’t know if you love something before trying it, so Kypris kindly offers ‘mini’ sizes of their products for a fraction of the price
Have you tried Kypris products before?
Ok. It’s 9:01pm and I try to end my screen time at 9, but I am determined to get a post up so I’m going to make this snappy! [Edit: I went to bed before this was finished…what’s a couple more hours?] I received the Hello Kitty collection from OPI last week and it’s quite good! I know absolutely NOTHING about Hello Kitty and it’s popularity (not really into cutesy stuff as a general rule) but almost all of the polishes in this collection have a great formula and the shades are on point for spring. I’m not a fan of the cheap white ‘Hello Kitty’ print labels they’ve stuck over the regular OPI bottle tops, but it’s not a deal breaker either.
I’ve gotten all fancy today and thrown in some quick comparisons for you guys as well as the swatches. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Let’s Be Friends! & Charmmy & Sugar
Let’s Be Friends! is a pale lilac-pink. The first coat was patchy and I worried it would be a typical pastel cream, but by the second coat it evened out beautifully – with a little care you could get away with 2 coats (I used 3 as I slept on it before taking these photos, oops). In the end this is a lovely color with a glossy finish. I wore Charmmy & Sugar (a sheer lilac shimmer with violet, blue and silver glitter and a slight greenish duo chrome) on my index finger alone (3 coats) and over Let’s Be Friends (ring finger), because let’s get real, no one wants to remove more glitter polish than necessary. It’s a great layering shade, though I prefer the ethereal look it gives on it’s own. I kind of wish this had no glitter as I love the shimmering base color but the glitter takes away from it IMO. Fairly smooth glitter and easy to apply.
Small + Cute =❤
A light pink cream. I love this color, but the formula is a PITA – the first coat was very streaky, the second a bit better, but it really requires 3 coats (or a very steady hand) if you want it to look flawless. A shame as this was one of my fave shades of the bunch! The formula is also a bit on the thicker side to give yourself time for it to dry (aka not before bed). Due to all the coats required and the thick formula I found this chipped within days.
Look at My Bow!
A soft orchid pink cream. This only needed 2 coats to opacity but its not 100% perfect – it’s a touch streaky. Beautiful color but not really for me, I think it’s a bit too saturated or something. I prefer the more muted look of Chanel Sweet Lilac (below).
Again I paired up to avoid glitter removal. Super Cute in Pink is a medium-deep orchid crelly (creme/jelly formula). Gorgeous! You can see very slight VNL with two coats but I like it this way to preserve it’s squishy-ness. This is a perfect spring shade and was effortless to apply. Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is a semi-sheer orchid shimmer with violet, pink, blue and silver micro glitter. It required 3 coats to opacity on the index finger (worn alone) and 2 layered (ring finger). It’s grittier to the touch than ‘Charmmy’ but not terribly so. While I liked ‘Charmmy’ on it’s own, I prefered ‘Starry-Eyed’ layered, as it gives it more depth and punch in color.
A sheer white shimmer. Sorry for the change in lighting, I found this needed sunlight to show off it’s pearlescent quality. These kind of shades aren’t really my bag, though it is pretty. Not much to say about this one, depending on your nail length you could get away with 2 coats (or if you don’t mind VNL) as I’ve done here. I’d think 3 would still not have it entirely opaque though.
Though ‘Grayt Lengths‘ looks a lot more gray than ‘Kitty White’, when held up to the light they’re VERY similar:
Never Have Too Mani Friends
I’m not much of a black nail polish wearer except for layering purposes, but this is a great black nonetheless – another crelly finish, super shiny, super easy to apply (all of the crelly-type shades in this collection are a dream to apply). This is just 2 coats. It would be a great choice for anyone in the market for a black polish (or anyone who loves a good black polish).
My Pal Joey
A saturated cobalt blue. It’s not as in-your-face as some other cobalt shades (think YSL Bleu Majorelle, Nails Inc Baker St.) – it’s a bit lighter and because of the crelly texture it’s not so bold in finish. I really like this – it’s playful and eye-catching, and these textures are seriously out of this world. 2 coats for opacity (no VNL in sight here). LOVE!
5 Apples Tall
Some of these shade names I don’t get at all…ANYWAY, this is a gorgeous coral red that has a crelly finish but is fairly pigmented – if you were in a serious rush you could damn near get away with 1 coat (though I prefer the density of 2, as usual). Love the look of this! I don’t always like reds on me but this looks really flattering on my skintone (I think). So easy to apply with zero issues. It’s extremely close in color to Essie ‘Come Here!’ and I like the formula better, so I’ll be swapping this in for that!
Spoken from the Heart
A lovely saturated warm pink. I love this one as well! Again, it has that crelly texture though it’s not as pigmented as ‘5 Apples’ so I’d suggest 2 coats for sure. Even then it gives a hint of VNL but as mentioned I don’t mind that with formulas like this, the slight translucency is what gives it that squishy finish. Again, super shiny on it’s own and a cinch to apply.
My Twim Mimmy
Again, WTF with the names? Anyway, this is a saturated medium yellow, very primary color-stuff (this along with the blue and red are like the most true representations of primary colors I’ve ever seen in a polish collection together). This doesn’t have the crelly texture (which would probably be a feat with yellow anyway since they’re the most annoying polish shades to work with) and is a touch streaky (I think 3 coats probably would be best so it looks flawless, but I was lazy and did 2), but as far as yellows go it’s actually not half bad. I don’t love it on my skintone especially as it’s so dense in color, but it might look better when I’m tanned.
Overall, I thought this collection was really well-done and even not knowing a lick about Hello Kitty, I could enjoy all the shades. These are all without base coat as well and the majority are SO SHINY! Pretty, pretty, pretty.
What are your thoughts about this collection / about Hello Kitty? What is the DEAL?
I have to admit, I have a bit of a bias when it comes to Arbonne…my experiences with the Associates who work for the brand has been nothing but ABSOLUTE BOMBARDMENT – any of my friends who have started selling Arbonne have been VERY intense about it, and truth be told the pyramid scheme feels a little cult-y to me. But hey, the perks must be rockin’ for people to go from laid back and chill to total pushers! So, maybe I’m just missing out?
In any case, it’s kind of a conflict for me because I have tried a handful of things from the line and I’ve pretty much enjoyed them all. I think the two lippies I have to show you today come out on absolute TOP though; these are AMAZEBALLS, guys! Let me break it down for ya:
Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick ($34CAD) is an über creamy formula with a satin-glossy finish, that soothes and moisturizes the lips with fruit extracts and helps lips look more plump and smooth. I know matte lips are still pretty trendy, but I’ve realized in the past few weeks that my lips don’t really love mattes – and not in the way you’d think. I mean, my lips can be dry, yes, so matte lipsticks don’t always feel (or look) so glorious over my flake-prone lips. But this winter season my lips have actually been more hydrated than usual, and yet some matte lipsticks still look a little craptacular. It’s all the lines, dudes! Though I have full lips, I never realized how many lines they have until recently, which is why certain matte lipsticks make my lips look super old😥 I remember Kate talking about this and I couldn’t figure out what the heck she meant – I GET IT NOW, KATE, will you come back and blog again plz? ~sigh~
Anyway, since realizing this I’ve been keeping clear of the Offending Lipsticks (those that make my lips look crypt-like), and trying to wear ones that minimize the cragginess. These two Smoothed Over shades, Guava (a bright coral) and Currant (a bold red), couldn’t be more perfect in helping me achieve a better looking pout. Not only do they keep the lines at bay, but HOLY HECK these feel fantabulous! These are so comfortable and hydrating and lovely to wear, they truly feel like the best lip balm you’ve ever tried – except they’re a LIPSTICK! KA-BOOM. I’m 110% sold
Though I don’t wear red lipstick too often (for no good reason – I LOVE a red lip!), Currant might change that because it just ticks all the boxes: fabulous color (a true red I think would look great on everyone), flawless formula, and the shape of the bullet makes it really easy to draw on the perfect lip without the need for a brush (at least, until the tip is worn down some). I have two shots below, both in different lighting – the sun was setting as I was taking these photos – and you can see that it would look great in both the summer (the first shot with the sun still above the horizon) and winter (once the sun had set). GOR-GE-OUS.
The second shade, Guava, is still lovely, though perhaps a hint too bright for my deeper skintone – or perhaps, just for this time of year when my skin is more sallow. Nevertheless, I think this is a lovely spring shade and if you’re into corals – you NEED this in your life.
I have to tell you guys, I *just* received these lipsticks today and the moment I put them on I just had to write a post about them ASAP. I can’t get over how amazing this formula is, easily the nicest I’ve ever tried. Considering Givenchy Le Rouge (till now probably the nicest lipstick formula I’ve used) are $40 a pop, I feel like the Smoothed Over lippies are a steal for how great they are. Oh, and did I mentioned they smell delicious!? I can’t pick out the scent is but YUM – it’s some kind of fruity smell that isn’t overpowering, sickly or chemical-like. SO good.
Smoothed Over Lipsticks are vegan and formulated without gluten or parabens. BAM!
Ugh, you GUYZ. I’ve had these swatches done for a few days but Elena is keeping me on my toes, as usual! She’s been waking up at 4am for the past few weeks and is ready to PAR-TAY, she thinks it’s time to get up for the day and I’m DANG tired. Today she also thought resisting nap time was a great idea, so I’m just plain worn out. BUT I did finally get her down (I keep checking the monitor with fingers crossed that she’ll stay asleep for awhile) so what better time than to get these pics & post up?
I am extremely surprised at how much I’m enjoying the Starlight holiday collection from OPI – metallics and glitters are generally NOT my jam, but these are really doing it for me so far! The sparkle on a lot of these really is ‘out of this world’ (cue the cheese) and they look so pretty and festive in the dim light cast by the fire and/or Christmas tree. I keep wanting to change my mani every day to try them all fully (but ain’t nobody in THIS house got time for that, sadly). I’m working my way through the swatches though so I will have them all up before Christmas, I promise! Today I’m bringing you the first 6 which are the more moody, mysterious hues of the 18 shades in the collection (which, if I’m being honest, is INSANE – 18 colors!? When did polish collections get so HUGE?).
All swatches were taken in natural light unless otherwise specified.
Guys & Galaxies – a deep dark brown-red. It looks a touch streaky in the swatch above, but IRL it’s not, though you do need 3 coats to reach full opacity. It’s very glossy on it’s own – the shot above is with no top coat. It’s an easy formula to work with overall, despite needing that extra coat (though it’s a *touch* staining). I think this is a very sexy shade – and it’s NOT near black, which makes me happy.
I’m in the Moon for Love – this is a medium plum shimmer with golden micro-shimmer. Every time OPI comes out with a shade like this (Dutch’ya Love OPI?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Purpletual Emotion…), I’m like ‘eh’ – even though they all look flattering on my skintone, I just can’t get into these types of purples. There is a depth and richness to this shade that appeals to me (you can see it better in the 2nd photo, taken under artificial light), but I know it’ll just be another purple that I keep NOT wearing regardless. Good formula though, two coats to opacity, with no application issues at all.
Cosmo With a Twist – a royal blue with lighter blue shimmer that looks purple in some light due to a duo chrome finish. This SHADE, you guys!!! So, so gorgeous – it really looks like Outer Space to me. It needs 3-4 coats to reach full opacity, but it’s totally worth it. I would have never picked up this shade if left to my own devices, but I’m SO happy I got to try it out. Perfect holiday shade that’s not your typical red/silver/gold.
Give Me Space – a bold, medium blue with silver shimmer. This has a VERY slight prismatic effect that’s really only visible in sunlight – so don’t let that be a reason you pick it up! The first coat went on sheer but it managed full opacity in two coats. I found this shade a touch fussy to apply, it can pull in spots if not applied with a relatively quick hand. I suggest loading up the brush and applying coats in one go, versus dipping back into the bottle. This is a beautifully rich shade, but along with the shimmer being a let down it didn’t wow me.
No More Mr. Night Sky – a sparkling gunmetal. This is quite sheer; it requires at least 3 coats and looks best with 4. Despite that: he-LLO, gorgeous! This is another polish I would have never picked up as I don’t gravitate toward shimmers, but holy smokes – this is so pretty!! It’s the most beautifully sparkly, twinkly polish I think I’ve ever seen. It looks particularly amazing in low lighting (the 2nd photo), so it’s PERFECT for the holiday seasons parties and hanging out by the Christmas tree.
Centre of the You-niverse – a charcoal with silver shimmer and black glitter bits. This is 2 coats, though depending on how thickly you apply your coats you may need a 3rd. Even though it’s got minimal glitter, they’re so tiny they’re a pain to remove entirely. For black polish lovers though this is a great shade; top coat makes it really gleam.
Sooo, basically I want to keep 4 of the 6 shades shown…that does NOT help me decrease my polish collection! Dang it. I just think these are so lovely for the holiday season or for any time you want a bit of sparkle that’s a little understated (re: not a full-on glitter) but still fabulous. Well done so far, OPI!
Photo outtakes: Last night when I took the bottle shots Elena hightailed it to where I was and got her grabby hands in there lol…at least I got one good shot (above) before the destruction!
You know you’re a beauty junkie when you buy things and forget about them. During the Sephora sale, I kept thinking I should buy something festive from one of the holiday collections, since I didn’t pick anything up from any of them….OH WAIT, YES I DID – the YSL Carmin D’Or polish from the ‘Kiss & Love‘ holiday collection, a gor-ge-ous scarlet with fiery golden shimmer throughout. Oops. I forgot. (I also bought Dior’s insanely beautiful Gris-Or from the ‘State of Gold’ holiday collection, which I ALSO forgot about….eeks. Review to come!) Right. But! Now it’s December, and it’s time to wear all my pretty festive nail polishes! So, we’re starting with this beauty:
It’s actually got a significant blue lean that I had a hard time capturing on camera – meaning it’s not a true red at all but more of a pink-red. I didn’t realize that when I swatched it in store, but I kind of like that because it makes it different than your standard golden red polish. The shimmer is incredible, it absolutely GLOWS no matter what light you’re in (although my outdoor pic doesn’t show that). The formula is also wonderful, with a thin-to-medium viscosity to allow easy application – two coats to full opacity, no fuss. This is my second YSL polish and so far I’m very impressed. It hurts to pay $27CAD (although it pleases me that it’s the same price in the US) but the upside to buying less polish overall is that when you do, you don’t feel so bad spending the big $$ on a shade you love. And that squared off bottle? SEX-AY.
I just received the OPI Starlight Collection yesterday so I have a bunch of holiday polish shades coming your way. I may do a countdown with a different shade each day…I’ll try my best! I’m in a major holiday spirit, we put up our lights on the house last night and it looks fab! I’m working on the inside now – we went to Homes for the Holidays here in Halifax on the weekend and looking at all the decorations makes me feel so festive! And also brings out my inner Martha. Check out this wreath I made!:
Yahooooooo!! Let the holiday season truly begin!
I love the holidays – the sparkling lights, the crackling fires, the joyful get-togethers….oh wait, right, this is the HOLIDAYS we’re talking about! You know, that time when most people are stressed out from too much shopping, not enough money, and too much family – so maybe those get-togethers aren’t all joyful, right? I don’t put too much emphasis on gifts, both giving and receiving, and I LOVE getting together with my family pretty much all the time, so I bypass most of the anxiety-inducing factors, but like most (ALL? don’t lie!) of us, I still endure my fair share of family drama every year. It typically goes the same way each time so I guess being prepared for it helps😛 In any case, for those of you who deal with any type of drama during the holidays, I say – DO IT FABULOUSLY, really ramp it up! If it’s going to get crazy, at least you can look the part, and no better way to do that than with Make Up For Ever’s new Lash Show Instant Drama False Lashes ($22CAD).
There are 4 different styles of lashes depending on your mood (and level of drama required) – natural volume, dramatic volume, winged and artistic – a total of 50 handmade, 100% synthetic fiber lash types for each and every occasion. Each pair comes with a latex-free adhesive – that’s safe for sensitive eyes – with an eyeliner tip that makes applying the glue to the lash band a snap (versus those tubes of glue that you just run along the lash band and pray it doesn’t glob everywhere!). I received pairs N-205 (natural volume) and C-706 (winged) to try – as someone who used to wear false lashes every time she went out (which was a lot back in University!) I was eager to have some fun and play.
My lash game not being what it used to be, I expected it to take me a bit of effort to get the lashes on properly. With the natural volume N-205 pair, I had minimal trouble applying them to my lash line – after a small adjustment on the first eye, the second lash went on without a hitch. I ADORE the look of these lashes – they’re incredibly natural looking but make my lashes look A-MAZE-BALLS. You could easily wear these during the day and no one would be the wiser, really – the lash band is super-thin, which is usually the giveaway that someone is wearing falsies – and the hairs progress from shorter at the outer edges to longer in the middle, giving you a great wide-eyed look but still in a subtle way.
Check out my Instagram pic below to see them in action:
GAWD it's been ages since I wore #falselashes – even before (well before) becoming a mom – but these natural ones from #makeupforever in N205 are AH-MAY-ZING and truly wearable for every day! Wore them out while running errands (to Home Depot even!) and didn't feel overdone in the least – just #everydayfabulous 😘 #bblogger #beautyblogger #lashes #beauty #makeup #lashshow #dressupyourlashes
The second pair, C-706, are decidedly more dramatic – a full, thick fringe of lashes that lengthen gradually as you near the outer edge for an intensely fierce look. There are brown lash ‘hairs’ interspersed with the black which gives them a particularly lush look while still being softer and less harsh than if they were all black. Though I tried them several times on separate occasions, I could not get them to sit tightly on my lash line – the band is much thicker to accommodate for the density of the lashes and therefore does not curve nicely along the eye. The edges kept losing adhesion at the inner corners and this tired old mama just doesn’t have patience (or time!) for that! But for an experienced lash wearer, I think these would look fabulous – even applied inaccurately, my eyes looked amazingly feline and sexy.
Though I haven’t been wearing much makeup these past months, and I’m well out of practice in wearing fake lashes, these are kind of getting me in the mood to wear them more often! Especially for the holidays – bring on the drama!
Sometimes I just can’t come up with a snappy title, my apologies ~bor-ing!~
I’ve been sitting on this review for too long, for no good reason other than I wanted to get full face shots and kept forgetting to take them, or just not wearing foundation half the time. I finally got my butt in gear and took a few this week – the weather (and so, the lighting) has been gorgeous this fall! We (meaning Ryan) even got a bit of yard work done yesterday because it was so beautiful outside.
Make Up For Ever’s newest foundation, the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($50CAD), is a step-up from their original HD foundation in that it looks flawless and undetectable even under a 4k lense, which apparently is the highest definition on camera these days [blah blah technical jargon blah]. Essentially what that means to me is that if you can’t see it under a super-microscopic lense, you probably can’t see it in person either. SWEET. As someone who definitely favours the no-makeup makeup look (at least where skin is concerned), this PLEASES ME GREATLY.
I wasn’t actually a huge fan of the original HD foundation – I found that I *could* detect it on my skin and it felt a bit heavier than I prefer. The Ultra HD foundation however, is so totally up my alley – it’s insanely lightweight, blends seamlessly into my skin, and covers beautifully with only the smallest amount (no more than a pea-size for the entire face, if that!). The stick version (also $50CAD) works similarly in that it blends in easily – and is made even more efficient as you can just swipe it on, blend and and I’m ready to go. Both are buildable to a medium-full coverage if desired. Many have noted that the stick is better suited to drier skins, and I did find in the summer it was a bit too hydrating for my normal-oily skin (my t-zone got quite shiny). But in this cooler weather I’m actually having no issues with it, especially after lightly powdering around my nose and the centre of my forehead, and I prefer the ease of use of the stick for day to day – I can just spot conceal, blend and go!
As usual, MUFE has a HUGE shade range to choose from, and if you used the original HD foundation you can find your match that route – for example, I was 153 in the original HD which corresponds to Y405 Golden Honey in the Ultra HD. I’ve still got a hint of a tan from the summer so this shade is a hair too light but if I blend well and don’t use it all over I can get away with it no problem. Interestingly, Y415 Almond, the other shade I have, is similar in ‘darkness’ but it’s more cool-toned as you can see in swatches above. It matched my skin better when I was more tan in the summertime.
Overall I’m really happy with these foundations, I adore the finish more than any other foundation I’ve tried (really!). The only caveat is that it does contain fragrance – and while sometimes fragrance in products doesn’t cause any issues for me when used in small amounts as it is here (I don’t even notice a smell), I have found that this irritates the skin around my mouth significantly if I apply it there. I have periodontal dermatitis off and on so I have to be very careful what I use in that area as it is – so that’s kind of a bummer, but not a deal breaker as it looks so good and wears so well everywhere else.
Have you tried the new Ultra HD foundation? What are your thoughts?