October Birchbox 2015 (Canada)

How time flies!  Here’s what I got in my October Birchbox:

October Birchbox 2015 (Canada)

October Birchbox 2015 (Canada)

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris:  This is a fruity, light perfume. Not really my preference, but a good option for spring/summer.

Harvey Prince Hello Body Cream:  This is a pretty basic body cream.  I appreciate that it sinks quickly into the skin and does not feel greasy.  It smells of lemons mostly, which is refreshing, but I find at times I feel like I smell like dish-washing soap. Not necessarily a bad thing!  But I probably won’t be purchasing the full-size of this.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara:  Wow. I’m really picky with mascaras and this has shot up to one of my top faves!  I’ve heard of this brand before but really paid no attention. This mascara lengthens, volumizes, separates each lash and hold the curl. I like the cute tube it comes in too — different from all typical mascara packaging!  I am definitely adding this to my list of next purchases (or gift wish list!)

Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser:  I haven’t tried this facial wash yet, but it looks very unique. This cleanser is an African black soap with a gel-like consistency. It has rose hip oil and is 100% natural.  This is claims to be anti-blemish and is supposed to keep your skin feeling fresh and looking clear.  I have yet to try this but am excited to!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle:  This is a leave-in conditioner spray that is amazing at detangling and leaving my hair bouncy and soft! What also impressed me was that it includes heat protectant properties, so I can spray this on and use my heating tools straight away. And the best part of this spray?  THE SMELL!!  It smells of vanilla, like, real vanilla. And it lingers in my hair for a good few hours. I don’t even bother spritzing on any perfume when I use this in my hair.  I am very tempted to order the full-size of this product off Birchbox.ca someday soon!!

BONUS: Hair clip!  Pretty basic hair clip. Does the job!

Thanks for reading!

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MAKE UP FOREVER: Step 1 Primers – Mattifying Base and Smoothing Base

I’m guessing that most of you reading this have heard of the MAKE UP FOREVER primers that were released earlier this year. When a new makeup product comes out, I will typically wait it out for a while as I hear more about the product and hear other’s reviews before I consider buying.  However, it didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to try out the MUFE primers after hearing a lot of good things!

I’ve been trying both the Mattifying and Smoothing versions of the MUFE primers.  In this collections, they’ve got a total of 10 primers — five to serve to refine your skin’s texture and five to refine your skin’s tone. Here’s a link to the Sephora website that shows you the primers available:

http://www.sephora.com/step-1-skin-equalizer-P393965?country_switch=ca&lang=en

Although I’ve heard good reviews I wasn’t prepared to spend the $43 Cdn right off the hop for each primer. Lucky for me, in the Sephora “Aisle-Of-Doom” (a.k.a. the trail-size products that surround you leading up to the cash register), I found sample sizes of the MUFE Mattifying and Smoothing primers for $19 Cdn each.

Let’s start with the Mattifying version. Wow. I’m just gonna say it right off the bat — this primer is the MOST mattifying primer I have ever tried in my entire life (so far; but I don’t know… this is gonna be a hard one to beat!).  With this primer, I’ve learned that less is definitely more.  I only need the tiniest amount and I only apply this to my nose and forehead.  The first time I used this, I got over ambitious and applied about a pea-size to my entire face and literally, it was hard to even smile because this stuff dries to such a matte texture on the skin!  I mean, it works obviously!  But for me, a bit on the nose and forehead does the trick to keep those areas matte as matte and keeps my makeup lasting wonderfully.

For ladies with super oily skin (all over or in some areas) I think you will really like this primer. For you gals with drier skin, I anticipate that this will stick to your dry areas and make you feel even drier, unless you moisturize quite heavily. But for anyone who wants their makeup to last longer and keep a matte finish almost all day long, this primer is awesome for that!

The Smoothing version is awesome. If you like the Benefit POREfessional primer, you’ll probably like this one.  It’s got the same texture (almost powdery), same skin-like tint (but dries invisible) BUT… in my opinion it is a lot lighter-weight in texture and provides such a smooth finish to my skin!  After applying a pea-size all over my face, I look airbrushed. I could probably get away with wearing just this some days (with maybe a bit of concealer to even out my skintone) because my skin looks so soft and semi-matte with this primer on.

Applying foundation or tinted moisturizer over the Smoothing primer is a dream — it provides such an even surface for my base and blends everything so seamlessly. As for lasting power, I’d say this does prolong my makeup wear for about 9-10 hours before I see fading. Pretty good!

TOP: MUFE Smoothing Primer BOTTOM: MUFE Mattifying Primer

 

I have to admit:  I’ve tried many, many primers, both drugstore and higher-end and although there are drugstore options that are great, higher-end primers are really great.  I think investing in a good primer is well worth the money especially if they create the perfect canvas for your makeup, whether it be a light application or a full-on face.

I would definitely consider purchasing the MUFE primers (Smoothing version in particular!).

I give the MUFE primers: a STANDING OVATION

Have you tried these primers or any other MUFE primers?  Like or dislike?  What’s your favourite primer?

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer

I’ve never been one to fuss about incorporating concealer into my makeup routine. I do own a few which I primarily use on any spots I feel like covering up. Not sure if it’s age or if I just never noticed before, but dark circles under my eyes have crept up some days on me – argh!  They’re not that bad, but enough for me to notice, so I thought I’d give a new concealer a try specifically for under my eyes.

I’ve only ever purchased drugstore brands and I’ve heard a lot of good things about higher end brand concealers in terms of coverage. The one all us beautyphiles probably know of and/or own is the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer. I was at Sephora and cringed at the $36 Cdn price point on this supposed miracle-worker for hiding spots and concealing dark undereye circles. For a foundation $36 seemed reasonable, but for a little bitty concealer, no! So with a little wandering around, I stumbled across the new Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealers.

With a swatch of the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer in Ginger on the back of my hand (which is a match for me), I was so excited to find that the Sephora concealer in number 10 Eclair was gosh-darn-it pretty much a perfect match to the NARS in Ginger. I immediately picked Eclair off the display and headed off to pay (amongst other goodies in my basket, tee hee).  For $17 Cdn, the Sephora version won me over.

On the Sephora website:

What it is: A lightweight, gel-serum concealer—featuring brightening properties and a unique applicator—that’s perfect for the sensitive undereye area. 

What it does: Ideal for undereye use, this gel-serum concealer with 21 percent pigment is feather light and never settles into fine lines. It is infused with pineapple ceramide, which helps to improve skin texture and promote brightness. The formula is buildable in color and coverage without adding texture due to the high level of pigments. The unique domed applicator acts like a cotton swab to provide the perfect amount of product every time. Just dip, dot, and blend. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT: Parabens 

What else you need to know: This product offers the largest concealer shade range currently available at Sephora.

The texture/consistency of this concealer is awesome. Just as the name suggests, a gel serum formula is what you’re getting — smooth and very easy to blend out. This melts into the skin in a few seconds and gives quite good coverage without looking overdone.

I’ve tried this under my eyes and it does brighten up my eye area quite well. I’m still not used to wearing concealer under my eyes but I like that this formula doesn’t feel heavy in that area.  I actually like to use this for extra coverage under my eyes, around my nose and to conceal any spots, when I use a lighter base like a BB cream or tinted moisturizer.

The only gripe I have with this concealer is the applicator. It’s got a typical doe-foot sponge tip, but it’s designed in such a way that you can’t swirl or swipe the sides of the tube to get product — product only gets on the tip.  The point of this design, I think is so that you can apply it under the eyes or anywhere on your face in a dotting motion.  I get it, but it seems to be a bit wasteful — I’m curious to see how much product I’ll have left in the tube once I’m unable to reach anymore from the bottom.  I think I’ll have to make a note to myself to save an old concealer applicator and see if it works to swipe the rest of the concealer from the Sephora tube. Yikes. Seems like a hassle, but I’d hate to waste such a good formula!

Anyway, overall I like this concealer. It’s a good match for my skintone, covers well, doesn’t crease and has a very nice texture.  I would repurchase, but only if I can find a different applicator to get the most out of the product.

Besides the tedious application, I give the Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer:  a HIGH FIVE

Have you tried this concealer?  Like or dislike?  What’s your favourite concealer?

Thanks for reading!!