Thursday, November 25, 2010

FOTD - Face Of The Day


Today I got to do a little test-run of my most recent foundation purchase - Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. Will do a video later on with a more in-depth review but today I really love it. I'm on my last pumps of my YSL Teint Resist foundation and while I was in Toronto last weekend I just couldn't resist stopping (and drooling) over the Giorgio Armani counter at Holt Renfrew.

Keeping the make-up to a minimum today... here's what I am wearing:


Face:
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - Shade #5
Bobbi Brown Colour Corrector - Light Peach (under the eyes)
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer - Natural (on blemishes)
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder

Cheeks:
NARS Laguna Bronzer
NARS Mounia Blush

Eyes:
MAC Fluidline - Blacktrack
MAC Kohl Power Eyeliner Pencil- Feline (on waterline)
Chanel Single Eyeshadow - Vert Khaki (on lower lashline)
L'Oreal Volume Million Mascara (or whatever it's called)

Lips:
YSL Gloss Pur - #7

Now a photo with flash and a silly pose:


I love the finish of this foundation. While the coverage isn't as great as other foundations I've tried, it really nails the "skin-like" finish. It has great staying power on me as well and photographs nicely from what I've experienced so far. When I bought it, the MA applied it on me together with one of their fluid sheers and set it with their compact powder foundation... my face looked amazing allll day long, and no sign of greasy outbreak. I might have to invest in that powder next!

Hope you all have a great day, and a happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers :)

xoxox

- Sandra

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Used up so far... Part III

Welcome to the third instalment of my "series"... basically me trying to work through all the things I own and determine what I like, what I can do without, and what I absolutely cannot stand out of my skincare/cosmetics/haircare collection (if you could call it that).

Over the past week, 4 more products have been finished, some impressing more than others.

1. C.O. Bigelow Lemon Body Cream


I bought this from Bath and Body Works several months ago, stuck it in a drawer and completely forgot about it until I ran out of the Twilight Woods body butter I finished in one of my previous posts. I then decided to use it up rather than moving on and purchasing a new body lotion. The verdict: I really loved this cream!
It is completely non-greasy, sinks right in to the skin yet immediately replenishes moisture. It also gives the skin a nice hydrated sheen and it smells really good (like lemons, of course). It reminds me of some sort of delicious lemon pie.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that it does not contain any artificial fragrances or colouring - meaning the faint yellow colour of the lotion and the yummy smell are completely natural and due to the lemon oils inside this cream. This was so so so much better than the body lotions and butters that I have tried from Bath and Body Works before!
I am keen to try some Fresh body lotions next, but I would most certainly repurchase this in the future :)

2. MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator


This was also purchased ages ago (I think last winter, from the Style Black collection that MAC put out). It was limited edition and a lot of people really loved it. Unfortunately, after the first time I used it, it broke my face out like crazy! I can see why people did like it, because the texture of the granules was great and it really exfoliated well. The granules are slightly more coarse than those in the MAC Microfine Refinisher (which is also a great facial exfoliator), yet smaller and less harsh than the bits in St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
Since I couldn't use it on my face any further, I used it up as a body exfoliator. It made my skin feel very soft and worked well. It smelled a bit funky, like most things that come from the Earth, and it does get a bit messy since it's so black.
Since I could only use it as a body exfoliator and you get a really small amount in the tube, it's really not worth the money. It was pretty expensive, at around $30 CND if I remember correctly... and I completely used it up in only 2 weeks.
I am sure there are other body exfoliators out there that are more efficient (feel free to recommend me some!).

3. Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Dare Body Mist


This doesn't need a rambly description... it's a sheer, less concentrated body spray version of Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Dare fragrance. It's one of the few fragrances of theirs that I like, and they had a sale last year so I managed to pick up one of these for half price (they're regularly $15). Considering it took me over a year to use this up, I wouldn't repurchase this. The smell was OK, but I'd rather not waste my money on body sprays since they don't last long and I just always tend to reach for my perfumes!

4. Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara


I reviewed this in a previous post so I'm not going to ramble about it again. Despite its fast drying time, it is the best mascara I have tried to date. It does in one coat what others (at the moment I'm using L'Oreal Volume Million) take 2 or 3 coats to do... offers great volume and length and doesn't flake off or transfer.
I will definitely repurchase this and in fact I already have repurchased it... just waiting to finish my L'Oreal mascara first before I can return to this :)

Hope you enjoyed this week's instalment and that you find these posts a bit useful. I am really enjoying working through things and making room for new products to try. I think Lush Ocean Salt will be the next exfoliator that I want to buy - have any of you been using it?

Have a great week :)

xox

- Sandra

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

IN & OUT (Fall Edition)

As I'm sitting here in Starbucks, procrastinating on an essay that I have to write by saturday, I thought I'd rather do this... so here we go!

IN:

- Starbucks seasonal beverages! Yum! Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Peppermint Hot Chocolate... I'll have them all... Grande and with all the trimmings.

- fireplaces

- girl's weekend in Toronto this weekend coming up - desperately needed!

- thinking of Christmas presents to buy myself (sad but true haha)

- neutral sweaters/boyfriend cardigans:

(courtesy of the ever so tempting Net-A-Porter.com)

- gold jewelry and big chunky rings such as this one (Monica Vinader):

- the semester almost coming to an end :)

- slowly but surely using up tons of products (stay tuned for the third "Used up so far" instalment early next week!)

- lipgloss. I've been hating on lipstick lately... too drying

OUT:

- Gossip Girl. Ever since Chuck got back to whispering like Batman and behaving like a corporate asshole 40-year old, I have lost interest. They should have kept that French prostitute on the show for longer, I liked nice and friendly Chuck!
Chuck and Blair were so fun and fresh with their banter during the first season of the show, then slowly but surely after the second season they got converted to an old dysfunctional married couple. They're 20 years old, come on!

- I can't think of any more at the moment, except for the fact that I have to get the roots of my hair touched up. I hate root maintenance.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

xoxo

- Sandra

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Used up so far... Part II


As I continue trudging along on the journey of using up products in order to figure out what I really enjoy using and what I could do without, three more products bit the dust this week.
Let's talk about the victims:

1. Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm


Burt's Bees is a brand that I really like. I enjoy their simple premise - all natural products that contain the soothing powers of honey and beeswax. This lip balm was really nice, non-sticky, and while the smell wasn't the most enjoyable in the world for me (the smell of honey doesn't really make me swoon), it did its job. It wasn't overly slick on the lips, either, and served as a great primer for the days in which I was using a dried lipstick.
Having said that, it does not really fulfill my dry lip needs in the colder seasons. It works well as a primer but as a treatment I find that I need something slightly richer.
I prefer the MAC Lip Conditioner over this, but that one is not nearly as natural.

Would I repurchase this? Probably.
I'm keen on maybe trying the Mango version. I wouldn't repurchase the Honey kind, but I wouldn't rule out Burt's Bees lip balms forever.


2. MAC Peachykeen Blush (Sheertone Shimmer finish)


This was my first ever blush from MAC. I bought this about 2 years ago (so just goes to show how long a MAC blush can last) and it suited my skintone quite well. I would probably be somewhere in between NC 25 - NC 35 in MAC foundations, depending on the season. My skin has predominantly yellow undertones. The finish of this was very beautiful. The shimmer very soft and for me, it provided just the right amount of glow so that I didn't need to use a highlighter. I am not too crazy about highlighters, anyway.
It's somewhere in between NARS Orgasm and NARS Deep Throat blushes, I'd say. Similar family... a good blend of peach and pink. It's a warm-toned blush.

Would I repurchase this? Probably not. With NARS Deep Throat in my collection, which isn't going to be finished anytime soon, it fulfills my pink/peach blush needs just enough.
Also, if you happen to own the NYC Blushable Cream Stick in the colour "Plaza Pink", it is pretty much a perfect colour dupe for MAC's Peachykeen, at a fraction of the price!

So all in all, I enjoyed the product, but it's not something I can't live without.

3. LUSH Big Shampoo


I had a love/hate relationship with this product. I talked in my haircare video about how much I didn't like it... and as a regular shampoo, it's probably not a good option. It's extremely drying and if you have colour-treated hair, it strips your colour like nothing else.
However, as a clarifying shampoo to use strictly on the roots about once a week, it works wonders. If you are like me and don't wash your hair every day (I wash my hair about every 3-4 days), and if you use dry shampoo, you know that there can be some disgusting build-up in the hair over time.
Just a small amount of LUSH Big shampoo (about a teaspoon, I'd say), massaged well just at the roots seems to do the trick. The large salt granules inside make it a great exfoliator for your scalp, which minimizes flaky skin, and if your hair is prone to getting very oily at the roots (like me), it is excellent at getting all the gunk out and leaving your roots squeaky clean.

Since my hair is colour-treated, I don't use this all over. I use a more gentle shampoo for the rest of my hair and leave Big for the roots only.

I would repurchase this. I've tried other clarifying shampoos before and they just didn't perform as well as this. Plus, the scalp exfoliation is a nice bonus!

That's my product roundup for the time being... I hope you enjoyed my blabbering about what I've been using... are there any products you have finished this week? What's your verdict on them?

Hope you all have a fantastic rest of the week and an even better weekend!
xx

- Sandra
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