Monday, September 15, 2014

Skincare Routine | SS 2013 Updates + Video

Now that I'm sitting here typing out this post, I'm thinking I may have called autumn out too soon. Coming back from a day about town, I couldn't wait to wash my face and cool myself down from the muggy heat. None the less perhaps it is the right time to share my spring and summer skincare routine after all. You know the drill, let's talk about it.

  • NEUTROGENA | Oil- Free Eye Makeup Remover
  • SHISEIDO | Perfect Whip Cleansing Foam
  • SIBU | Sea Buckthorn Face & Body Bar | review
  • ALBA BOTANICS | Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub | review
  • EVIE SKINCARE* | review
  • BIOTHERM | Life Plankton Essence* | review
  • ANDALOU Skincare | Probiotic +C Cream | review
  • NOW FOODS | European Clay Powder
  • CLARISONIC MIA | review
Given the warm weather still hovering about town, I think I'll stick to this general routine for just a little longer. The only product I've fully replaced already is my daily moisturizer (we'll talk more about it this week) but these wandering eyes are already eyeing up a few other items to work into my winter arsenal. If you're interested in seeing a short post on what I'll be using coming the colder season (once I've gathered them all), leave me a comment and it shall be done! 

What was your favourite summer skincare product?


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Maybelline | Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation + swatches

New to the ever popular Maybelline DREAM family, the newest drugstore item to hit the town is the Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation. With a new bottle design and dispensing system, this also boasts a breakthrough texture that created to provide an impeccable finish for a bare skin look and feel. Too good to be true? Being the foundation lover that I am, I was ready to try it on.

Brand: Maybelline
Product: Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation*
Sun factor: SPF20 Octinoxate (3%)
My Colour: Classic Ivory
Colour selection: 12 shades total
Size: 20ml
Price: $14.99 CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.

The Dream Wonder Foundation presents itself in a slim glass bottle with a teardrop design and an ombre sprayed finish that shows a peak of the foundation colour at the bottom where the glass is clear. After properly shaking the bottle (as we're instructed), you'll find the dispensing system is actually a single dropper bead. Not quite your regular pipette style dropper, this exclusive design was specially created for the easy dispensing of the ultra fluid foundation. Simply hold the cap vertically in your palm or fingertips and let a few drops of products bead and drop down.

In theory it sounds great (not to mention very hygienic) but on busy days gravity proves too slow and I usually end up dabbing the dropper on my hand instead. While the foundation is indeed thin, it's not quite liquid enough to roll right off the dropper.

Smooth and fluid to the touch, the Dream Wonder feels like a powder suspended in an silicone/alcohol base. On first contact, it feels almost creamy and soon turns into a light matte finish as the emulsifying ingredients evaporate only to leave a slight powder behind. The transformation process happens quickly and you have around 5 seconds to blend it in before it starts to set so I recommend working in one small area of the face at a time using either your fingers to tap then blend or use a stippling brush .

The Dream Wonder foundation surprised me with the medium coverage that it provides, managing to smooth out slight blotchiness, minor blemishes and easily unifies my skin tone. The thinner consistency allows layering to achieve slightly more coverage where needed though not quite full coverage. As my skin is particularly feisty the past few weeks, you'll notice that it doesn't cover scars or prominent spots.

When it comes to colouring, I've always been pretty close with their shades and usually fall into Classic Ivory (see all my other foundation matches) which is exactly what you are seeing in the swatches. It's a reasonably good match for everyday wear though I do find a slightly white cast in certain lighting situations. When worn with other makeup, the difference is negligible but if you are stuck between two choices, I would in this case suggest the darker option.

Note that sometimes foundations can look slightly different in the bottle versus a hand swatch versus how it actually wears on your face so I'd always recommend sampling a tester if you can. In the case of Maybelline, while not all their base products look consistent in the packaging, your usual shade is most often the best one in the range despite how the bottle might look.

The product is not scented by does carry a slightly alcohol note due to its ingredients.

In the close up (above), notice that Dream Wonder catches on dry patches on my nose and also around any blemishes that are in the healing stage. In fact, this will catch on any dry spot on your face due to the powdery suspension of the formula. This means, if you have acne issues or dry skin this wouldn't be your best option. It does however sit very well over my pores and does not settle into fine lines around the eyes or mouth.

Lastly, I did find this to be quite long wearing foundation despite not marketed as being so and it held up easily to 4-5hrs on a warm day without any major fading on my combination skin. There will be some slightly powdery transfer if you rub your skin but neither breaks down or separate too terribly during the course of the day and it does blot down easily if needed. No skin irritation or any adverse affects to be seen and despite the high silicone content, it did not seem to cause any breakouts which is likely due to its thinner consistency versus the usual heavy texture of silicone products.

In many aspects, Maybelline's Dream Wonder is a great foundation. I absolutely can not feel it on my skin upon application and that's a rare statement. Its slight matte finish will be appreciated by those with normal to slightly oily skin and it photographs quite nicely as well. The medium coverage is enough for your special nights as well as everyday wear making it a great basic to keep in your arsenal. Personally, the fact that it enhances dry patches is the main reason I won't be going back after this bottle is finished. The other is the price point, which seems quite high for a drugstore product offering only 20mls of product. If neither of those are your concern, then go and grab yourself a bottle as it a beautiful product.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Beauty Guide | Office & School Beauty Stash | video

  • X3 CLEAN | Alcohol Free Sanitizer* | Website
  • DAISO | Hair Pin Set 40ct
  • HARD CANDY | All Glossed Up Lip Stain | Website
  • CRABTREE & EVELYN | Hand Therapy | Website 
  • PACIFICA | Rollerball Perfume | Website
- - - - - - - - - - 
We all have enough things to worry about during our day and all the more reason to prepare for those unexpected situations. Beyond the basic arsenal of lip products and band aids that you carry in your purse, here are 5 of my favourite office and school/locker essentials to help you build an emergency beauty stash bag. I love the idea of having a backup plan right at work, for those "what do I do!" moments when you've switched up your purse and completely forgot your makeup tote. Yes, it's one of those days.

Let me know what are your beauty stash essentials!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: FAKE OUT! Organic Wear Mascara | Physicians Formula

You may know me as a high maintenance lash girl and for the most part you'd be right. But for the casual trip to the grocery store, I don't need the full arsenal and thus came this mascara. The full flashing fuchsia and lime green packaging may be a little jarring but it worked and caught my attention when I was browsing through the list for a washable, easy on the eyes lash enhancing mascara. Even better? The 100% natural origin label sold me right then and there.

Brand: Physicians Formula
Product: Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara
Variation: Regular, Fake Out (both washable)
Colour: Black
Size: 7.5grams
Price: $10USD
Details: 100% natural origin ingredients, 70% organic, extension fibers, no parabens, no harsh chemicals, no synthetic dyes
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: No

The Organic Wear Fake Out mascara comes in one bright bold chrome finished tube with a stylish curved design, the cap embossed with a leaf design to reflect its natural origins. The tube itself is flat but the kitschy design does make this larger than most mascaras and thus a little hard to fit into a small makeup bag.

The wand is very large, with a football curved shape and composes of a thick inner wand with varying lengths of rubber bristles. In physique it seems to be a close cousin of the Covergirl Lash Blast which, due to its large size, ended up as the deciding factor in the love/hate relationship.

From the ingredients list, this looks to be a very wax heavy product which results in a thicker, almost creamy feeling mascara that coats the lashes easily. The rubber bristles did a great job at gently detangling my lashes while I piled on the coats however it certainly wasn't as smooth as I would have liked.

Frankly, I've seen some nice looking fake outs from this mascara (here and here) but it seems to fall short on my lashes. As this is a washable mascara (and only waterproof products can hold my curl), I am not rating this on the curl factor but even looking at volume and length alone, this turned out to be a rather average product. And the lash extending fibers? Not a single one in sight as far as I could see.

Wear time was a mediocre 2-3hours before I noticed significant smudging that required a little clean up and slight flaking followed suit towards mid-day which again required touch ups.

On the brighter side, I did find this Fake Out mascara to leave my lashes soft and comfortable all day and even with the copious layering that I am known to do, the finish remained touchable and natural.

Thoroughly not impressed by the Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara and its effect on my lashes. Sure I may not have the easiest lashes to work with but this couldn't even hold out on the none smudging, none flaking claims. Ideally this would be better suited for those who already have naturally curled medium density lashes who are just looking to darken and thicken with a bit of mascara. I love the idea of a natural mascara especially since it's something I wear often but thus far, none have hit the mark. Let's move on.


INGREDIENTS: Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Glycerin (Organic) (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beeswax (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Microcrystalline Cellulose, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Tapioca Starch (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Stearic Acid, Jojoba Esters, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Ceiba Pentandra Fiber Powder, Nylon (10/10), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract (Ingredients from Organic Farming), Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Water, Glyceryl Caprylate, Leuconostoc Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Iron Oxides (May Contain), Titanium Dioxide

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Foodie Chat: A carrot by any other look tastes just as sweet

We as modern consumers have a thing about beauty. The way we look, the way we like our things to look. From the clothes you choose to the food you buy at the supermarket, the invisible hand which helps to pre-filter our everyday choices may not seem obvious.

Take your weekly groceries for example. Clean, perfectly stacked rows of apples, lettuce fresh with a sprinkling of dew and smooth plump tomatoes line the displays.

But do you realize that the majority of your mass market produce is selected based on a specific standard of physical beauty? This includes size, symmetry, weight and uniformity which ensures that no "ugly fruits" are sold. The rest is often discarded or if they're lucky, they might be donated or taken home by the workers. This video which I happened up via social media a few months ago describes it perfectly.

Just a few days ago, I dug up some carrots from the garden which looked less than "perfect". Because space was limited, they had to be crammed into a small sliver of earth between two preexisting batches of vegetables and many of them were small, wrinkled or were part of twins or even triplets. Yet the more I looked at each one, the more their unfamiliar features grew into unique identities. I smiled after examining each one. They would go lovely into a soup.

So do remember that a carrot by any other look, often tastes just as sweet.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: FRESH | Sugar RUBY Tinted Lip Treatment

The FRESH series of Sugar Lip Treatments are now a modern classic, coveted by lip lovers everywhere and with a 4.5 rating on Sephora I knew this product meant business. The range itself consists of 10 variations from summery corals to rich berries as well as a clear intensive treatment option.

Brand: FRESH
Product: Sugar Ruby Tinted Lip Treatment SPF15*
Size: 4.3grams
Price: $26CAD
Availability: Now via Sephora (online and in stores)
Would I (re)purchase: Most likely, yes!

Sugar is this lip treatments claim to fame. Listed in the ingredients as Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, this acts as a humectant to seal in moisture into the lips while conditioning them. The sweet concoction also includes natural oils such as jojoba, grape seed, meadowfoam and black currant to name a few, mixed into a carnauba and beeswax base. While I'm usually not a fan of heavily wax based lip products, this combination brings both the smooth feeling of oils yet the long lasting protective effect of waxes.

Upon opening the outer cardboard box, I was surprised by the weighted metal encased tube with its screw top lid, much more substantial than most I've encountered and which gave the product an artisanal quality. This is something to keep, not just to use.

Inspired by the glittering red jewels of its name, Ruby is a deep almost cranberry hue with a soft reflective sheen that's a little less than a lipstick but a little more than a lip balm. I'd imagine this is something that Snow White might wear on her days off. On the lips this colour applies smoothly with just enough slip from the oils but doesn't feel greasy and can be layered to achieve a medium coverage colour. If you're feeling extra fancy, FRESH also suggest that you can mix and match the various Sugar shades to create a custom colour to fit your mood.

Now this isn't named a lip treatment for nothing. The combination of oils and waxes not only coat the lips for a little immediate relief but also works to help treat parched skin. I can put this on now and know that my bare lips will be soft and moisturized just right by the time it wears off in 3-4 hours.

The only thing I'm unsure of about this product? The scent.

While the description lists this as a "bright citrus scent", all I can think about is TUMS. Yes, the multi-coloured heartburn medicine. It was the first thing I noticed and every time I put this on, it still lingers as a momentary notion in the back of my mind.

The FRESH Sugar Ruby Tinted Lip Treatment pulls a solid score in my arsenal of lip products. I love the way it feels on my lips and the fact it does provide real treatment results while still being lightweight. Perhaps not for the dead of winter (I'd use a salve for that) but perfectly fit for the rest of the year. This also lasts much longer than the average lip product per application and I can see this as an easy to use, dependable standbys that will be liked by many whether you're treating yourself or sending it away as a gift. Now I am hoping that the other shades will have slightly different scents as that's the only part which didn't appeal to me (it's not you Fresh, it's me) and I'm looking forward to picking up a few more shades like Honey and Plum.


INGREDIENTS: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Limnanthes Alba, (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Persea Gratissima, (Avocado) Oil , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vanillin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Propyl Gallate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ci 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT.