Friday, August 29, 2014

CND Vinylux Nail Polish Review

A nail polish that claims to last at least 7 days chip-free? I'm in!

I've tried several polishes/top coats that claimed to stand up to this claim in the past but this is the first one that actually delivered. The CND Vinylux system gets two pretty and polished thumbs up!


How it works is super simple: you apply two coats of the colour and follow up with a the top coat. Not only is the result nice and shiny but it also dries super fast. It dried just as fast as my regular polish with the Seche Vite top coat minus the gloopiness!

The colour I got was a timeless bright red Wildfire (I can never get sick of red nails):


And this is what it looked like after not 7 but 10 (!) days:


Aside from regrowth and minor tip wear... this stuff was incredible and it survived many dish washing episodes (I wash dishes by hand, without gloves).

Have you tried this stuff? I think it's a great alternative for women who like to change their polish more often than shellac and are looking for a fuss free at home alternative!

I was kindly gifted this set by my co-worker but am currently scouting more shades online (Amazon is my BFF).

What has been the most long lasting nail polish you have ever tried?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3 Masks For All Your Skincare Needs

This week I'm sharing my current skincare routine over on my YouTube channel and as a supplement I thought I'd share with you the face masks that I use depending on my skin condition. These three masks are tried and true - some I've been using for over a year:


From left to right:


This is my go-to mask before any type of special occasion where I want my skin to "perk up". I use it right after I get out of the shower. It has a light gel consistency, orange in colour and smells of oranges as well. As it comes in contact with your damp skin surface, the oxygen is released and it starts frothing up. It produces a fun tingling sensation that lasts for about 5-10 minutes, then you rinse it off. It's a quick skin boost and it leaves my skin feeling plump and refreshed, perfect to use before a night out!


This is one of the best peels I have ever tried. It's intense - roughly a 20% acid mix that works hard to slough off dead skin cells and promote skin cell renewal. It contains AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid and fruit enzymes) and it is a clear gel consistency that you apply with the brush it comes with, leave it onto the skin for 10-15 minutes depending on your tolerance (it stings) and rinse it off. This mask is ideal if you are looking to fade hyperpigmentation and old acne scars.
I do not recommend you use this if you have active blemishes on your face, though, since it can be quite intense and irritating on those sensitive spots. On old scars, though, it's a warrior!

3. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($10-15 at Whole Foods or on Amazon)

This is a cheapie but a goodie. I reviewed it in depth last year in this post. It's a DIY clay mask - the box contains the clay that you mix with either water or apple cider vinegar (I prefer the latter), apply it on the face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes as it tightens and absorbs excess oils and gunk from your skin. This is a must if you have oily/combination skin and are battling blackheads. 


What are your go to face masks?

Using face masks is seriously the highlight of my week sometimes. I'm easy to please :)

xx

Sandra

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eyeliner Wins and Fails

There is no better time to test the true performance of an eyeliner than in the middle of a hot and humid summer on oily skin. Both of these eyeliners are by L'Oreal so it goes to show that even within the same brand there lie winners and losers.

Let's start with the loser(s):



The L'Oreal Super Liner (both The Super Slim and Blackbuster sizes - I liked to use these together, first the Blackbuster for the thick graphic line and then The Skinny to fine tune the outer wing)


It transferred and faded by the end of my work day (~8 hours). Boo.

The winner:

L'Oreal Lineur Intense Brush tip liner in Carbon Black


Not to be confused with the felt tip version, which sucked.

This eyeliner was awesome, I wish the brush was thinner and sharper but the formula can't be beat. This is what it looked like at the end of the day, same length of time tested as the previous liners mentioned:


You can see that my foundation is settling and looking a hot mess, but the liner is still impeccable!

I've been on a liquid liner binge lately. What are some of your favourites?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Foundation Love: By Terry Cover Expert

I sort of foreshadowed this in a FOTD post a couple of weeks ago but today I am back to tell you that the love is real. About three solid weeks of testing By Terry Cover Expert foundation I can safely say that it is my favourite foundation that I have tried yet (sorry Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and YSL Teint Resist, y'all have to step it down a notch).


It comes in a tube, which I love. It retails for $66 which is steep but on par with brands like Giorgio Armani. You actually get 35mL of product VS the traditional 30mL you usually get in foundations. I have the shade #9 Honey Beige and it is a perfect match. It's like the stars have aligned for me with this one.


It has great medium coverage without ever looking or feeling heavy on the skin, it has a velvet finish that's still "radiant from within", the colour doesn't oxidize and the lasting power is great on my oily skin. I do have to use a touch up powder after about 6 hours but it honestly fades so nicely I have zero problems touching up. I have to do that with every foundation anyways since I have quite long days. I can even get away with not powdering it and it still lasts better than some foundations that were meant to be more long lasting (*cough* Lancome Teint Idole 24hr *cough*).


It's similar to Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in the sense that it provides that great smooth velvet finish while staying lightweight on the skin - but it has a hint more luminosity, better lasting power, it doesn't oxidize AND it isn't a nightmare on dry patches.

I seriously can't say enough good things about it. It doesn't have SPF in it which doesn't bother me since I use a separate SPF on my face anyways. The only deterrent, really, is the price and limited availability of the brand. I don't think it's physically available at any counters in Canada (I got mine at a small beauty boutique in Ann Arbor, Michigan), but if you're in the USA you can find it at Barney's and SpaceNK (select Boomingdale's locations) or you can bite the bullet and order online


Also, I have a gold medal for you if you can understand the hieroglyphics on the back of the box (AKA the ingredients list).

I cannot recommend this foundation enough if you have normal/combination/oily skin, want medium buildable coverage that looks natural but lasts all day and like a bit of a luxe treat. You won't regret it, I promise.

xx

Sandra

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekend Wishlist 16.08.14

Because I need another lipstick like I need a hole in the head.

Lip products are my kryptonite, people!!! Here's what's on my radar at the moment:




This is a gorgeous pale peachy nude (my favourite kind of nude!) that Rae wore in her last video and it was totally up my alley. I kinda need it and you do too. Bite Beauty just nails it in terms of lip formulas and colour selections.


I am not a fan of the original Fresh Sugar lip balm and find it quite subpar when it comes to its lip hydrating capabilities but the colour of the Tulip is a perfect everyday brightening lip shade. Perfect for days at the office where you want something on your lips that's comfortable and that puts some life into your face.


This bright mandarin orange is stunning and I can't rave about this lipstick formula enough.

4. NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Montego Bay (a rosy nude) and Tonkin (rosy brown)

I have tried both of these on numerous times at Sephora in the last couple of months and I can't decide which I want more. The conclusion is I need both. Montego Bay is a softer pink, Tonkin is more of a 90's brown nude.

What's on your wishlist this weekend? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Best Bright Lipsticks

This post and video are an ode to one of my favourite things - bright lipsticks!


I love mostly neutral makeup but nothing can really amp up a look than throwing a bright lip in the mix. Most of my picks are matte because I find matte bright lips more eye-catching and modern (and not to mention they last longer!).



Whether accompanied by a lip liner or just dabbed on as a stain, I hope you'll find a bright lipstick in this post that strikes your interest and feel free to share your favourites with me in the comment section!

xx

Sandra

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Face ft. By Terry & Kat Von D

I've been sporting this super simple "nude" look over the past few weeks, switching things up here and there and fine tuning until I have reached the perfect combination. A good base, eyeliner that's slightly dramatic on the top lash line paired with very natural blush and sheer lipstick.
This, my friends, was the combination for me. My cat eye liner didn't look ratchet and I may have found the foundation of my dreams:


Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($19 at Sephora) has been amazing for creating a sharp and precise winged out line. The formula isn't as intense of a black as Benefit Push-up Liner but the brush gives more control so you can have a more subtle look or a more fine tuned graphic line. It's a very fine brush applicator and I'll be reviewing it in more detail next week as I get to play with it more.

L'Oréal Miss Manga mascara for a fluttery voluminous lash. No mascara/liner on the lower lashline, just a hint of Anastasia highlighting pencil in Camille. Blush has been Tarte Exposed, and a hint of Dior Incognito on the lips.

The foundation is By Terry Cover Expert ($66 at Barneys) in shade #9 Honey Beige. By Terry is a difficult brand for me to find where I live but I was lucky enough to walk into a lovely place in Ann Arbor, Michigan last weekend called Lily Grace Cosmetics where not only did I get to troll a By Terry counter but I also got to meet one of my lovely readers! Hi Madeleine!

I am so in love with the Cover Expert foundation, I even proclaimed to elope with it in a Facebook status. Sorry not sorry. It's early days of testing and I will be doing a more in depth review later on but for now I am obsessed and I have refused to wear anything else on my face this week. 

I will take a deep breath now and prance off into the sunset with my newfound makeup loves.

What makeup have you been loving this week??

xx

Shop this post:


Thursday, August 7, 2014

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

The newest member of L'Oréal's mascara family has just become my favourite one. I'm a big fan of the Voluminous range of mascaras (my most recent love has been Voluminous Butterfly, reviewed here) so I was super excited when I saw that Miss Manga mascara hit the shelves in Canada.

It. Is. Awesome!!


It's got this cool flexible wand, brush bristles that taper slightly at the end and an amazing formula that doesn't smudge, flake or transfer on my oily eyelids...  all while still being easy to remove at night.


It's the perfect mascara for everyday use, offering good volume and length. Here is one coat on me:


Have you tried this yet? If you're a fan of fluttery, voluminous lashes, then I think it's definitely worth a try :)

xx

Sandra

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cleansin' Wednesday: Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask

This product has been around on the market for a while and had always been on the back of my mind to try but for some reason it's not available at any drug store near me. On a trip to the US I popped into Ulta and here it was on the Neutrogena shelves, smiling at me.


I purchased a tube ($6.99, haaay) and went on my merry way. I've been using it for a month now and thought I'd weigh in on the experience.

The product claims to be both a cleanser and a mask. It's a pasty creamy texture with gritty particles, so it also serves as a scrub. It reminds me of tooth paste but a slightly thinner texture.


It has a slightly cooling sensation when applied on the skin. It lathers a tiny bit when mixed with water on the face and used as a cleanser. When used as a mask it claims to help balancing the skin's oil production and to keep oily skins matte for longer - I honestly couldn't tell a difference in how oily my skin got during the day. It was the same as it always is.


The scent is fruity and refreshing, and the scrub particles are very fine. It also contains salicylic acid which is great if you are acne prone. However a word of caution - if you're sensitive and acne prone, this might be too harsh as a daily cleanser. You might want to try it as a treatment once or twice a week to start. While it hasn't done miracles for my acne, I didn't expect it to. I believe that if you suffer from acne you need supplementary products that have higher concentrations of active ingredients and a simple cleanser alone can't do the trick. This is a great budget cleanser for oily skins in the summer and it's worth a try next time you're perusing the drugstore aisles for a new cleanser!

I have not seen it on the shelves at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, but they do have it at Target, Walmart, Ulta/CVS/Walgreens in the USA, etc. You can also find it online here.

I have used cleansers from Neutrogena before and was not a big fan, but this one makes the cut!

What are your favourite drugstore cleansers?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Travel Makeup Bag Lovin'

I got this awesome new makeup bag from Hold Me and got to put it to the test a couple of weekends ago. It was love at first pack.



I love that it's easy to clean, it has a brush compartment that's neatly separated, a pocket on the sleeve and a divider. It comes in three different sizes and I chose the largest one because I'm a makeup hoarder even when I travel.

The material feels super soft and it's vegan suede. The quality is top notch and I love that it ties together which allows you to really stuff it with items orrrrr be a regular reasonable adult and not bring 10 lipsticks on vacation but I won't judge :P


Here's what I packed for a weekend trip:



I highly recommend these bags. You can get them on Amazon or directly on their website here. They come in different colours/patterns and they are handmade in the USA.

Now let's see how much I can stuff in it when I go to Spain later this month :)

xx

Sandra
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