Month: November 2014

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Texture Sprays!

It has been quite a while since my last Fancy vs Frugal Friday,  but I didn’t want to do them unless there was a clear difference between the products. I have been testing these products for a few weeks and I have a clear favorite. The products that I’ve been testing out are Garnier’s Texture Tease, and Living Proof Instant Texture Mist. The Garnier is available in drugstores for $8.99 CAD. However, it goes on sale all the time. I got this can on sale with a coupon and it was only $1.99! The Living Proof product retails for $32.00 for the 5 ounce, and $18.00 for the 1.7 ounce bottle.

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These products have some similarities, but I really prefer one over the other. First off, the Living Proof is a pump spray, providing a wet spray, and the Garnier is a dry aerosol spray. Thankfully for me, the drugstore product is much more superior. I love using this when I put my hair in a bun or do any sort of braid. It’s also really good when I have curls in my hair and I just want something to provide some “grip” and volume to my hair.

The Living Proof for me, is just too heavy a product. It leaves my hair wet and stringy, and although the look I get from it is nice, it’s not worth the way it makes my hair feel. I also don’t get any volume from this product, and forget trying to put it near my roots, because it makes my hair look greasy. It also doesn’t pass my “crunch test” meaning when I pinch my hair afterwards I hear that dreaded crunch sound. A dry aerosol spray works much better in my hair, and the pump spray nozzle on this did nothing for me.

Something that I like for both products is the smell, however a complaint I have about both of these products, is that they both tangle my hair to the extreme. Especially near the nape of my neck, the tangles are crazy. If anyone has any product recommendations for a texture spray that doesn’t tangle your hair that would be great.

I know Sabah disagrees with me on this one, but she hasn’t yet tried the Garnier. The Living Proof works well for her newly short hair, so I will be passing this on to her! For me, frugal takes the cake this week. The search continues for a texture spray that doesn’t tangle my hair, however for the price I am super happy with this!

What are your favorite hair products?

-Sara

Review: Elf Maximum Coverage Concealer!

Elf is a beautiful brand. Honestly. Most of the products I use from their company results in a “I can’t believe this was under $5.00” scream fest. This concealer however, had me thinking “You get what you pay for.”

First of all, the very first time I used this product, the plastic blocker came off, resulting in a huge hole that let way too much product out. Regardless, I continued to use the product, and these were my thoughts.

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This product gives just okay coverage. For something that boasts maximum coverage, I was disappointed with it. I was hoping this would be a concealer that I could apply under a powder foundation. On good skin days when I didn’t have much to cover, it would have worked, except the texture of this concealer is so sticky it would attract my powder foundation so quickly, and I would be left with dry looking patches under my eyes and around my nose. Even when set with a powder, I found this concealer felt sticky, and it wasn’t pleasant to use. I used it for about three and a half weeks and finally decided just to cut the cord and get rid of it. With the broken packaging, it just wasn’t worth the hassle of using it every day, for a lacklustre result. For the amount of product that you get (20ml) and the price of it ($3.00) I am not totally disappointed. It is not something I would repurchase, however it’s not the worst concealer I’ve ever used.

Have you guys tried this concealer? What are your thoughts?

-Sara

So are the days of our lives … Fragrances that trigger memories!

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write since Halloween. I shouldn’t even call it a post, it’s more of a story that I wanted to talk about, and get some feedback from you guys.

So as some of you may remember, I was Marge Simpson for Halloween. It was an awesome costume that required a lot of work, mostly due to the fact that I had to paint myself bright yellow with acrylic body paint. Sabah and I were going to a party at our friend Ursula’s house, and before we started getting our costumes together, we had go get groceries and a hostess gift. I jumped in the shower, exfoliated the hell out of myself, and slathered myself with a generous amount of a favorite body moisturizer. Biotherm Baume Corps to be specific. I figured I would let it sink in while we ran to the store, and I could start my painting when I got home.

We must have been in the car about 30 seconds and Sabah was in tears. To this day, we don’t know what set her off, but the smell of that moisturizer brought her sad memories that completely overwhelmed her. I felt bad making her sit in the car the whole way there and back, but it got me thinking… Smells really can transport you to different times in your life. Good and bad memories can come flooding in like a tsunami as soon as your nose picks up the slightest scent in the air.

My question to you guys is, what scents take you back to a certain time in your life, good or bad?

-Sara

Wish List: Four items I am lusting over!

This post is hard to write. As we all know by now, I am not allowed to purchase any makeup until January 1st 2015, and given that one item in this post is part of a holiday collection, I could just cry. I love doing these posts, because when I really sit down and think about what I am lusting over, I am always surprised. It’s usually not the newest thing that everyone is raving about. Trust me, I have way more than four, but if I had to narrow it down, these are the four things that would come home with me tomorrow.

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1.) Chanel Camelia de Plumes Highlighter: OMG this is just so beautiful. It looks like it would give off more of a cool toned silver highlight, and I don’t have anything like this in my collection. If I miss this purchase because of my cosmetic ban, I will be super disappointed! This is part of the 2014 Chanel Holiday collection!

2.) Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye Palette – Eye on Neutral: This is something I can’t believe I don’t already own. I love matte shadows, especially neutrals, and I know for sure I could get a brow powder out of this as well. It’s pretty much a palette made for me, and I will be purchasing this come January!

3.) Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation: Another thing that I pick up every single time I am at a Laura Mercier counter. I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about this and I’m not sure why I haven’t taken the plunge yet! Has anybody used this before? Give me the details!

4.) Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: I have tried the hand salve, and the body lotion from this brand and I was blown away. If this cream could tackle my dry skin during the winter time, it would be worth it’s weight in gold. Kiehl’s is a hard product to get in Halifax, but next time I have the opportunity I am going to jump on this!!

There it is, my top 4 products on my wishlist.

What have you been lusting over lately?

-Sara

Review: Lise Watier Blush Fondant Supreme!

Sometimes, good things just happen. A deserving family wins the lottery, Sophia Vergara hooks up with Joe Manganiello, or in this case, a company makes a limited edition product that you LOVED, part of their regular line. Enter Lise Watier Blush Fondant Supreme.

First introduced in the Eden Tropical collection, these cream blushes left a huge impression on me. They are so light, they have the perfect texture that allows seamless blending, but still leave you with an even application. The lasting power is great, and the color range has something for everybody. These are an absolute home run. I prefer to apply them directly with my fingers, but I have used smaller stipple brushes, and also a regular blush brush, and was satisfied with the results from both.

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From left to right: Corail, Peche, Natural, Baie, Terracotta, and Rose.

These blushes retail for $30.00 CAD and will more than likely be my go to blush this winter when my skin gets out of control dry. My personal favorite is Baie, but I love Peche and Rose. I will be reaching for those shades come Spring time!

Lise Watier has been absolutely killing it lately, I am super impressed with her products!

What are you favorite Lise Watier products?

-Sara

Seeing Double? Don’t panic, it’s just a cosmetic repurchase!

I have a handful of items that I repurchase religiously. Shiseido Cotton, L’oreal Elnett (unfragranced), Bioderma…. I mean things that I can’t live without. Rarely do I repurchase something, as I am always wanting to put my money towards a new product that I haven’t tried.

If you read my blog daily, you’ll know that awhile back (before my cosmetic spending ban!) I purchased the Benefit Sweet Tintations holiday set. Mainly because of the balms, more specifically the LolliBalm. I absolutely love this product. To purchase individually, they are $22.00 CAD, and the set was $30.00, so obviously the choice was a no brainer.

I wanted to give LolliBalm it’s own post, because I have officially finished the first tube. And when I say finished, I mean, I scooped the product out with a q-tip, and the tube is actually bone dry. It’s a miracle for me to finish a lip product before losing it, and I can’t remember the last time I went through a lippie (with the exception of my Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me)

I can’t rave enough about these Benefit Balms, but the LolliBalm shade has truly stolen my heart.

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Have you guys tried these yet? What one is your favorite?

-Sara

What’s in my purse makeup bag?

Let me be frank when I say, when you are out in public, and you realize you forgot something, or you need an emergency item to deal with a fashion crisis, I am not the friend you would want to be with. This is definitely Sabah’s specialty. She always has everything you need. Lint brush, bobby pin, safety pin, travel bottles of scotch … (Alright that last one might have been an exaggeration!)

None the less, I’ve gotten some questions about what I carry with me for beauty. Ask and you shall receive! Let’s jump right in!

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First, I always carry a compact mirror, a case of my business cards, and a fragrance. Lately I have been carrying around CK Shock because I found this super cute small bottle, but my fragrance changes frequently that I carry.

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Laura Gellar Baked Foundation: this product is supposed to give enough coverage on it’s own, but I like to use it as a setting powder on top of a liquid product.

Laura Mercier Highlight 101: I got this in a 500 point perk box awhile ago, and couldn’t be happier. This is my holy grail, must have highlighting powder, and I will never be without it!

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream Blush in Pink: This is one of my favorite cream blushes that I have. It applies amazingly with your fingers, and it doesn’t require a powder blush on top of it, because it finishes to a slight powder finish.

Benefit Watt’s Up: Yet another mini product that just makes me smile. (Who else freaks out about mini products!?) This product is great to sweep on cheekbones, and I love using it on my Cupid’s bow too! On days when in really wanting some glow, I will use this and set it with the Laura Mercier Highlight!

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Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara: This mascara is okay, nothing special to me. But it’s small, and it’s good for a purse mascara. I don’t use it often, as I usually don’t touch up my mascara through the day. It’s more of a safety net to have in case I unexpectedly stay the night somewhere!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand: This product is nice! The coverage is okay, and I love the finish of it. Another product from the 500 point kit I got awhile ago.

Smashbox Targeted Pore and Line primer: This stuff is great to touch up with, I use it similarly to Benefit’s Porefessional, but I currently don’t have a small size of that, so for my purse this is perfect. Doesn’t make me break out, and hides pores mid day when they start creeping up on you!

Benefit High Brow: I LOVE this product. I have a similar product from Essence in my everyday makeup bag, and I needed one in my purse bag too. This product is perfect for highlighting under the brow, down the nose, and the inner corner of the eye.

NARS Via Veneto: Straight up, awesome black eyeliner. It stays in my waterline longer than anything else I’ve tried, and it’s creamy to apply. And I don’t need a sharpener which is a bonus in a purse!

And of course, a pen. Because we always needs that.

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Benefit SugarBomb Gloss: This is an awesome gloss for me. Everytime I wear it, I get complimented, and it is a perfect nude for me.

Laura Mercier Gloss in Rose: I love the color of this gloss, it gives me enough color without a lipstick underneath, and it’s not overly sticky.

Bobbi Brown Matte Lipstick in True Pink: Another great product. I do like to top this with a gloss, because it can be a bit drying, but the color is awesome, and low maintenance!

Fresh Sugar Balm: I don’t get a lot of color from this, but I wanted something in my purse that was good for hydration. Living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we have dry lips about 328 days of the year. So this is a must!

Bite Duo Lipstick: This is the nude version of their duo lipsticks, and I love doing the ombré look with this. Line the outer part of the lips with the darker nude, and apply the lighter nude in the middle of the lips. Beautiful!

That’s all I have for now. I carry a small travel brush set with me, contact solution etc … Again, just in case I ever get stranded somewhere for the night. (I drive 45 minutes to get to work everyday, since I live outside of the city, and now that winter is coming, I will more than likely have to crash at Sabah’s house soon! I also carry an extra outfit in my trunk!)

What are the things you absolutely have to carry with you at all times?

-Sara

Beauty Blender Bombshell!

So not too long ago, I wrote a post on the Micro Mini Beauty Blenders. I love these little neon green gems, and I have been using them for just about two months now. Mine held up really well, but as I washed all of my sponges and brushes today, I was squeezing the water out of one, and I could feel a definite difference. It seems to be breaking down! For some reason I went and got the packaging and sure enough I find this…

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“With proper care, Micro Mini will last 90 days.”

Well that sucks! These sponges are not cheap, and I’m really disappointed that I didn’t know this before I purchased. My original Beauty Blenders seem to be indestructible (except the ones that came in the BFF duo, both of those sponges felt super different than the sponges that are sold separately!) I’m still not convinced they didn’t put all the reject sponges in those duo sets! But my regular pink ones, and my royal shade one have held up extremely well. Even the ones that I carry in my freelance kit! (And trust me, those get beat up! Constantly being cleaned and microwaved, and they still look brand new!)

I do appreciate that I got two of these micro sponges, but had I known that they would only last 90 days, I might have spent that money on something else.

Has anyone else had these little sponges give out on them yet? If you have, let me know! And all of you that want to purchase these, keep in mind that they come with an end date in mind 😦

-Sara

Exfoliating Gloves: Something everybody needs!

The whole idea for this blog was inspired by a lovely woman I was speaking to not too long ago. I was telling her how I couldn’t live without my exfoliating gloves, and when I gave her a tip on another way to use them, she was visibly shaken, and excited to get herself a pair. These are the reactions that I love. I have a lot of posts coming on ” Non Beauty” things, that I use for beauty purposes. But this is the opposite. A beauty product that I do use for beauty, but it has a wonderful purpose in my home, that I will never stop using.

These small inexpensive gloves will change you life. Plain and simple. Using these in the shower with your body wash will keep your skin glowing and healthy, and they are a must for sloughing off dead skin before you self tan.
When my first pair of these gloves started to look a little gross, I decided it was time to get rid of them. While in the shower, I looked down and saw that dreaded ring starting to form around the tub…

Now for a side story. So I used to work for Royal Canadian Pacific, in Calgary. I was an attendant on the luxury train, and with that came a ton of responsibility. One of them was, obviously housekeeping, which included us having to clean our personal rooms at the end of a trip. There was never a crazy amount of time on the train, so I got in the habit of spraying my shower down as soon as I was done using it for the last time. And let me tell you, nothing is easier to clean than a hot steamy shower. The grime just wipes away, and there is no need to scrub and scrub. We had squeegees and everything to ensure not one water spot was left! It was pretty serious business.

Back to my personal shower at home, while I don’t use a squeegee to ensure there are zero flaws, I do enjoy a clean shower! So this particular day, my old train habits kicked in, and before going to throw my exfoliating gloves out, I gave the shower a good wipe down. Let me tell you, nothing has ever taken that ring away faster. These have become my number one bathroom cleaning staple. Obviously, use an old pair that you intend to throw out, or do what I do now, and just buy separate colors. (Turquoise is always for my body, and pink is for the bathtub!)

Seriously, do yourself and your tub a favor, and get youself a pair of these. And if you have an extra pair kicking around, throw them on before tackling that dreaded ring around your tub. You can thank me later!

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Any beauty items that have a complete non beauty related use for you?

-Sara

How to prevent and deal with frantic mornings!

There are some things in life that everybody can relate to. No matter where you come from, or what your lifestyle is, everybody in the world knows that feeling of waking up late. Or waking up super gracefully, only to realize your alarm didn’t go off, and you are supposed to be somewhere in 20 minutes. I honestly want to know, how many of you have had that jolt of electricity run through your veins? You go from a completely normal, semi sedated person, to a blanket throwing, multi tasking psychopath in about .38 seconds.

Well, I dread those mornings like nothing else, so I have put together some of my favorite tips to make the morning run smoothly for you, and everyone else in your household. (Even though the funniest part of mornings like that, are when you trample over your spouse to get out of bed, thus waking them up and sending them into a morning frenzy!)

1.) Shower at Night: I know a lot of people like taking showers in the morning, but for me, I would rather have the extra 15 minutes of sleep. Plus, if you shower at night, you can braid your hair, or put some product in it and throw it up in a loose bun, resulting in a tousled messy look when you wake. This way, you also diminish the chances of being so late, you have to skip your morning shower. And in that case, nobody wins.

2.) Pick your outfit out the night before: This is something I do mostly every night. Everything down to my bra, socks etc will be laid out on my ottoman in my bedroom. (Or in the wintertime, I tuck my outfit under my duvet while I sleep, so I change into warm clothes. Being cold is just not an option for me.) This is a huge time saver for me, as all females know, it can be a process to put together a single outfit.

3.) Cut makeup routine down to the most basic possible: Multi tasking products are your best friend in a situation like this. BB creams that can stand in as moisturizers, cream based products that can be used on cheeks and lips … These are the things to grab for. Me personally, I will apply Benefit Porefessional, fill my brows, apply my Baby Lips in Cherry Me, and a quick coat of mascara. Everything else can be dealt with later throughout the day.

4.) Play music: Another thing that eases my mornings all the time. Sabah does this too. If you are feeling groggy and just can’t pull it together, put on some music. If you don’t feel a little more energetic when Beyoncé comes on (or G-unit if you’re Sabah) consult your physician immediately.

Other things I do include turning on my lamp as soon as my alarm rings. (It’s impossible for me to get up when it’s still dark – I need light!) Putting my things (purse, keys etc) by the front door so I am not frantically looking for them in the morning, and packing my lunch the night before.

I hope these tips help you have a smoother morning, they sure help me!

Are there any other tips you guys have to share?

-Sara