Reviews

Review: CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation!

Recently, I had a very bad reaction to a new cleansing balm that I tried. It was a doozy, and it made me really question what I am going to do with my skin. I went to my beauty stash, pulled almost all of the skincare that I had, and gave it all to Sabah. Creams, serums, exfoliants … Everything. I stopped using almost every product I had, and went back to Cetaphil cleanser and CeraVe moisturizer. That along with blasts and blasts of Avene Thermal Water, and my skin is finally getting back to normal. The reason I am telling you guys this, is because the way I have my unopened products stored is in boxes. Boxes of skincare, boxes of liners, mascaras, blushes, powders, foundations etc. everything has it’s own box. Now that my skincare boxes are almost empty, I realized that I had so many foundations, I could fill two boxes. I needed to start trying new things. This brought me to open the new CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation.

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This oil free foundation has been getting really good reviews online, but mostly from people that have oily skin. I worried that this foundation would dry my skin out, but I just had to try it. I love squeeze tubes, the price is right, and it promised me good coverage. I picked the shade 120, which is embarrassingly a little too dark for me right now. I’ve been using this for awhile now, and these are my thoughts!

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The texture of this foundation is nice. It’s not too fluid, and not too thick. After applying with a brush, fingers, and a beauty blender, I have decided that I like the application with the beauty blender the best. This foundation doesn’t catch on my dry patches, but I do like to wear a radiance primer underneath, as my skin looks a little dull without it. Lasting power seems to be okay, I am battling a very bad cold right now, so I am always red around the nose at the end of the day. Not the foundations fault, and everywhere else held up super well. I’ve had no issues with clogged pores or breakouts, and this foundation does not oxidize on me throughout the day. My obsession with glowy skin causes me to add a radiance primer, and douse myself in MAC Fix Plus after application. I got this foundation on sale for $6.99CAD, and for the price I would totally recommend it. If you are more of a combo/oily skin, I think you would really like this. Super dry skins, I would stick to my L’oreal True Match Lumi recommendation.

Have you guys tried this yet? I’ve heard only positive things about it, but mostly negative things about the concealer …. Weird hey?

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Dark circles are a thing of the past thanks to Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base!

Dark Circles. Dark circles. Dark Circles. Working in cosmetics, I talk about dark circles probably 45 times a day. This is something that a lot of women struggle with, and I have been noticing some darkness under my own eyes lately. Waking up early to shovel and defrost the ice cube that I call Ruby (my car), has started to cause issues underneath of my eyes.

Luckily, I have a product that truly helps me out. Clarins Radiance Boosting Complexion Base is actually meant to be used as a primer, mixed in with foundation, or wore alone to enhance the complexion, but this little gem packs a serious punch when layered underneath of your undereye concealer.

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I have this in the color Champagne, which has a pretty strong orange tone to it. It attacks the blue in my undereye area like no other. I will apply this product first, and then layer on top with whatever concealer I have on the go. Two of my favorites to use have been the Smashbox BB undereye concealer, and the Clarins Instant Concealer.

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This will be your plan of attack when using this product. Apply your face products (Moisturizer, Primer, Foundation etc.) try not to apply your foundation directly up to the eyes, as it will just create another layer of product, and nobody wants cakey undereyes. After your foundation is blended, apply a small amount of the Clarins Complexion Base with your clean fingers. Tap the product under the eyes, and avoid rubbing the product in. If you try to rub in a concealer, you will be working against yourself, and you will simply remove the product from the skin. If you work in very light layers, you can repeat this process twice. After the complexion base is applied, you can follow with an appropriate undereye concealer. Make sure that you are using a skin tone colored concealer, as the Clarins will be working as a corrector only. Tap the concealer onto the undereyes, and ensure everything is well blended. When you are satisfied with the coverage, set your undereye area with a very finely milled setting powder. This will make sure you avoid any creasing or smudging.

There are three shades of the Complexion Base. Rose, Champagne, and Peach. Rose has a very pink undertone, so wouldn’t do much for this purpose, however the Champagne and the Peach both have very orange undertones. Light to Medium skin tones would love the Champagne, and Medium to Deep skin tones would be better off to use the Peach Shade!

What are your favorite tricks for hiding your dark circles? I once had a pharmacist tell me to get more sleep and eat a steak because my dark circles were probably an Iron deficiency.

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

-Sara

Exfoliating: What you need to know to get glowing skin!

Exfoliating. Just let that word roll around in your head for a few seconds. exfoliating… Oh I just love the way that sounds.

I am an absolute exfoliating junkie. Anything that promises to slough off dead skin and make my skin smoother, and more radiant? I am game. Someone could tell me that battery acid was an effective exfoliator, and I would definitely consider it. (I have good friends that would talk me out of it, luckily!)

Your skin will naturally go through it’s cycle, and exfoliate itself every 28 days. Which is wonderful right? But like everything else, as we age, things change. Our cell turnover slows down, leaving us with more and more dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. This will make the skin appear dull, and prevent our skincare products from properly penetrating. If you are using (especially an expensive) skincare regime, and not using an exfoliator, you are throwing money down the drain! Luckily, there are many different products on the market that we can use to speed up the process, and keep that skin glowing!

I have tried many different techniques for exfoliating. Manual, chemical, peel offs, powdered exfoliants … If it’s on the market, I have tried it. I have been using my Benefit Refined Finish, and as happy as I was with it, I recently went back to using an old favorite, and I am falling in love all over again.

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Number 7 Total Renewal Microdermabrasion Exfoliator is one of the finest exfoliators I have ever used. The micro beads are so fine and leave my skin feeling incredibly smooth, but not irritated. It rinses very clean, and doesn’t have any irritating scent to it.

I use this product about twice a week, or after days that I wore heavier makeup. Being someone who uses a Clarisonic once a night, I sometimes don’t get the satisfying smooth feeling after using an exfoliator. That’s what got me hooked on this product again. So smooth… I could just rinse my face over and over. My skin has really started looking better, and I have noticed that my products are sinking into my skin much better than before I had this product at my sink.

What is your favorite method of exfoliating? Manual Exfoliation is definitely mine!

Have an awesome weekend everybody!

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Review: Lise Watier Baiser Velours!

Some days I want to pull out all the stops with my lips. Liners, lipsticks, lip glosses, highlighting etc. But some days, I just want a one stop product that I can apply in the morning, and truly forget about. I’m also fond of wearing a super natural look, and adding a pop of color to the lips. The new Lise Watier Baiser Velours are the answer to my prayers.

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Swatches from top to bottom: Eternal Kiss, Passion Kiss, Party Kiss, Love Kiss, French Kiss, Nude Kiss, Sweet Kiss, Sun Kiss and Fashion Kiss.

Available in 9 shades, these lip lacquers provide a matte finish, with a super light texture. The applicator is a tapered doe foot, which makes precise application a breeze. Once applied, these lip products provide a full coverage matte finish, and will not transfer. I also didn’t notice any smell to them.

Can we just take a minute and look at these shades? They are so beautiful!

The wear time on these shades is impressive! If you are looking for a long wear lip product that is low maintenance, you should definitely look into these when they launch. After playing around with them, I realized that I love to mix these! I would recommend that you do this on a separate palette, so you don’t end up mixing the shades in the tubes themselves, but they can definitely be mixed together. Nude Kiss and Sweet Kiss make a great shade!

These retail for $27.00 CAD, and you get 6ml of product.

I am super happy to have this addition to the Lise Watier line. They really do lip products well, and the new Baiser Velours are no exception!

What are your favorite Lise Watier products? I recently sent some products to one of my favorite You Tube gurus crystalis007, and I can’t wait to see her thoughts on some of the products. (Lise Watier isn’t readily available where she lives in the States, so I wanted her to have some pieces of Canadian Makeup!)

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Review: Stila Nude Interlude Color Balm Lipsticks!

Spring. The word just makes me happy. Flowers will bloom, colors will be brighter, and I’ll finally be able to go out in public with something lighter than a duvet on. Spring also brings us new makeup launches, and Stila has started with a collection of Nudes from the Color Balm line. For those who aren’t familiar with the Color Balm line, this is all you need to know. The lipsticks are (obviously) balm like, very hydrating, and very pigmented. They have a minty scent and feel cooling on the lips. Each lipstick is named after a woman, so be sure to see if your name shows up on the shade list. (They haven’t made a Sara, which irks me, because it’s a crazy popular name… I had like 6 Sara’s in my school growing up!)

The newest ladies to join the collection are Elyssa, Sophie and Meg.

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The first thing you will notice about them, is the change in packaging. These ones are rose gold instead of the traditional silver, and I love them. I love when companies switch up their packaging. I wish they had kept the letters on the tube the same color as the lipstick inside, like they did with the old ones. It made of easier to grab the right one. These ones you need to look at the name, or open the tube to see what color you’re holding. Not a huge deal, but it could have been avoided. Below are the swatches:

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My favorite one is definitely Elyssa. It gives me a total Marsala vibe, which as we know is completely on trend for 2015.

My only issue with these lip products is the sheer size. I love the formula, the shade range is beautiful, and they wear really nicely. The only thing that bothers me, is the circumference of the lipstick bullet is so wide, that it makes it a little tricky to apply. Unless you’re blessed with beautiful full lips naturally, you might need to grab a lip brush to get some precision.

Do you think one of these will be your new perfect nude? Do you have the same name as any of these lipstick shades?!

-Sara

Review: Physicians Formula All in 1 Beauty Balm Cheek and Lip!

Happy Monday beautiful readers. How was everyone’s weekend? Did anything interesting happen?

I bring you a review today on the new All in 1 Beauty Balm for Cheeks and Lips from Physicians Formula. Let me break this down for you the best way I can. I buy a lot of products. Some work, some don’t. It’s all for the better of the blog. But … sometimes I come across a product that is just so horrible, that I will return it. This is usually more with higher end products , as I know the money could be better spent on something else. But in this case, the product was $6.49 CAD (on sale!). And I returned it. That’s how bad it was. Before I get into specifics, let’s take a look at the product! I got the shade Berry Pink which was all my drugstore had … I have seen a coral shade online though!

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This was just too cute not to pick up. It looked like an EOS balm! I am a sucker for those balms even though to be honest, I really don’t like them much. (The lure of packaging is real… Trust me!)

Anyway, upon swatching, I was satisfied with the color payoff. It was sheer, but that’s what it claimed to be, so no hard feelings there. See the swatch below:

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This product claims to have 10 Beauty Benefits. Moisturizing, Smoothing, Protecting, Soothing, Hydrating (which is the same as moisturizing) Conditioning, Glow-Boosting, Perfecting, Line Smoothing and Long Wearing.

I can tell you, pretty much all of those are complete lies. With the exception of protecting (this product has SPF 20 in them, but it isn’t being claimed on Canada, more than likely due to DIN issues) this product did nothing like it said it would.

First of all, I am not huge on using the same thing on my lips and cheeks. Especially something like this that gets applied directly. But – in a pinch, I can see how it would be helpful. I tried this on my lips first, and it was such an awful experience. They made my lips feel like someone had dripped hot wax on them, and I was left with the thickest, waxiest residue ever. It made every single line and flake look more apparent, and it just felt awful to wear. Fair enough I thought. Maybe this would work well on my cheeks. I tried the product on and was again disappointed. It dragged on my skin, and left me with a sheer wash of color. As soon as I tried to blend with my fingers, I ended up taking whatever color I had just put down off, and in the process, messing with my foundation. Super unhappy with this! It looked waxy on the skin, and the product itself just wasn’t creamy enough to glide on smoothly.

So, a lip and cheek product that is awful on both the lips and cheeks? Not okay in my books. I decided to brave the judgement, and return the product to the drugstore.

I consider this a public service announcement. This is a less expensive product for Physicians Formula, and the packaging is adorable. But, be forewarned that a Venti Flat White from Starbucks will cost you a little less, and it is much more satisfying. I have scrubbed my lips with the tongue cleaner on the back of my toothbrush (which works so well!) rinsed, and applied my Dior Creme de Rose lip balm, and my lips still feel like waxy slugs. Not cute.

What is the last product you used that really disappointed you? Let’s help eachother out here!

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Review: Smashbox Try it Kit!

Confession: I get a small huge rush when I see deluxe sized samples of products. I understand that I have mild hoarding tendencies when it comes to makeup. But, I am a Beauty Blogger and it is what it is. I need to review new products, I need to compare and try different things so I can hopefully in the long run, save you guys some money and help you make good choices. And the bloggers among you help me do the same!
So when I see that a product I wanted to try comes in a mini size, or even better, in a kit FULL of mini sizes, I will break out into the running man. This is what I did when I saw the new version of the Try it Kit by Smashbox.

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Full Exposure Mascara, 24hr Eye Primer, Photo Finish Primer, and the cutest mini Eye Shadow trio you will ever see in your life. For $22.00 CAD.
This is an amazing deal.

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First off, I can say I would never buy the large size of the eye primer that comes in the kit. The large size is 12ml, and the one that comes in the set is 4ml. So, it’s a third of the size, but anyone that has used this primer knows how little you need. Even if you are “all about that base”, I would be surprised if you could finish a full sized one before it dried up, or the formula changed. I would much rather buy the Try it Kit, and benefit from the other three products, if I was keeping them for myself or for gifts, those other three products are totally worth it.

This kit is totally worth the purchase. I thought we would end the blogging week on a positive note. I am signing off for the weekend and I will talk to you guys again on Monday! I have a big weekend coming up, so make sure to follow me on Instagram and keep up with what’s happening! (@girlmetblush)

-Sara

Review: Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Palette!

So the cosmetics ban that I took part in from early October 2014 to January 1st 2015, is officially over. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be was horrible. There were so many launches, not to mention all of the limited holiday sets. Lucky for me, Sephora dropped the ball this year with their Superstars kit. That was my biggest fear. But, it was so similar to last years kit, I had no angst about not picking it up.

This palette however, has been taunting me. Sonia Kashuk was never available where I live, until Target came to town. (And that worked out really well – they will be closing down their stores and getting out of Canada soon. Which is truly sad for a multitude of reasons!)

When I heard the news that Target would be closing, I had to jump on this ASAP, because they were always sold out when I was there. Luckily there were two palettes left. One was opened and swatched. Which on a side note, infuriates me. And there’s no way somebody swatched this, and decided not to take it. They swatched it, fell in love, and then took a new one home with them. Seriously, I could vent my retail pet peeves all day. If you see something that you want to try and there is no tester, just BUY it. If it’s not your cup of tea, bring it back. That way at least the stores inventory stays current, and they can properly order the stock. If there are 6 open swatched lipsticks, the stores computer won’t automate an order for that if it shows there are 6 on hand. Leaving other customers super frustrated that they can’t get the product they want.

Anyway- rant over. Let’s switch to a more positive tone. Hello Palette…

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This palette includes 12 shades. All neutral. All matte. (Talk dirty to me!)

I don’t care how much makeup you have. If you don’t have this, find it immediately, and bring it home.

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I wouldn’t change a thing about this palette. I love all of the shades, they swatch beautifully, blend easily, and do not crease on my eyes. I’m actually having anxiety about only having one. When I find a product like this, I will completely use it up. This palette gave me exactly what I was expecting from the Lorac Pro shadow palette. (The matte shades at least!) I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like the Lorac shadow palettes.

I can mix these colors up, to work in my brow, and the matte black is amazing. I love the sleek packaging, but of course, I wish the large clear window was a mirror.

This palette was $19.99 CAD, and worth every penny. When Target starts marking their stock down, Sonia Kashuk and I are going to have a reunion. And it will be serious.

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This palette would provide you with endless looks, from super basic, to a beautiful smoked out eye look. Light shades, dark shades, transitional shades… They are all here.

Thank you Sonia Kashuk. Truly. Thank You.

Who else loves this palette?

-Sara

Review: Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer!

Hello Everybody. Happy Monday. Yes it’s still Winter, and still cold. Le Sigh.

So, on a positive note, let’s talk about concealers. There is nothing better than a product that can make you feel more confident about yourself instantly. For me, concealer is one of these things. I have been testing the new Maybelline Master Conceal (Shade Light) and here are my thoughts!

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The texture of this concealer is quite fluid, and I am happy with the blendability. The shade “Light” definitely has a yellow undertone, and I have read on other blogs that the shade “Fair” has quite a pink undertone, so choose accordingly.

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I love the packaging of this, I have a soft spot for squeeze tubes. You can really control how much product you use, and it’s much more hygienic than a doe foot applicator. You get 12ml of product for $12.99 CAD.

When I first applied this, my first impression was “That was fine…” And to be honest, as I continued to use this, my opinion stayed the same. The color works for me, it blends like a dream, the coverage I would say is medium, but can be built up, and I really didn’t experience any creasing throughout the day. Word of caution: this concealer dries super fast. I mean, super fast. And if you’ve waited too long to blend, the product will roll off of your skin. If you are someone who places your concealer all over your face and then blends everything, you will have to rethink your application. This is a one eye at a time, one blemish at a time kinda deal. It seemed to have checked all of my requirements, but for some reason it just isn’t wowing me. I will say this though, I would recommend this to someone looking for a drugstore concealer. I think I have concluded that the reason it hasn’t absolutely knocked my socks off, is because it doesn’t have any brightening properties. I prefer the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in the “Brightening” shade.

All in all, this is a very solid concealer. I give it bonus points for packaging, as it is much more hygienic than the applicators of L’oreal True Match or Maybelline Fit Me. In a perfect world for me, they would launch another shade that resembles the brightening shade from the Age Rewind line. Now that I think about it, maybe I would prefer the “Fair” shade.

Do you guys ever just feel lukewarm about a product? I didn’t not like it, but it’s by no means a Holy Grail product.

What did you think of this concealer?

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal: Brow Showdown! Round Two!

Fibre-Gel brow products are all the rage right now. Actually, fibre everything seems to be the rage. Fibre brows, fibre lashes, fibre hairsprays to fix your uneven hairline or to camouflage sparse areas on your scalp. The world is truly mastering the ability to fake it. Unlike fibre lashes, these brow products can look very natural and be super flattering. (I don’t care how many people try to get me to endorse or sell these fibre mascaras – I’ll tell you straight up, your lashes look like fuzzy spider legs!) Last Friday, I talked about Maybelline Brow Drama and Benefit Gimme Brow. Maybelline really missed the mark with that product. No fibres, it’s simply a tinted gel with an obnoxious ball on the end that makes it near impossible to use. Benefit remained queen of the brow.

I have since tried two more of these kind of brow products, and have had much more luck!

Hard Candy Brows Now! was the first product to really spark my interest. This is a gel-fibre formula, and definitely has more fibres in it than the Gimme Brow.

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With a very similar brush to the Gimme Brow, but a slightly more wet formula, the Hard Candy combs through the brows super easily, and lasts all day. The wand is small enough to work even on the tail of the brow, and this provides both color and volume to your eyebrows. I have it in the medium/deep shade, and I do find it a little dark. I might take it back and try the lighter shade instead… On the flip side, a brow highlight, that contains a little too much shimmer for me, but I love to use it on the inner corners of my eyes and on my Cupid’s bow. The only complaint I have with this product, is because there are so many fibres in the formula, the wand can get messy, and you can end up with wonky looking brows. A clean spooly is definitely needed to comb through at the end of application. I got this at Wal Mart for $5.98 CAD, and I could purchase four of these for the same price as one Benefit’s Gimme Brow. Benefit Gimme Brow comes in a 3.0ml tube, and the Hard Candy is 4.1ml.

Just when I thought I was finished with this brow search, L’oreal launched their newest brow product that promises more volumized brows. L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper comes in three shades. Transparent, Light/Medium, and Medium/Deep. I have the Medium/Deep shade, and again it is just a hair too dark for me. I can make it work though, and I don’t hold it against the product.

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Benefit Gimme Brow on the left, and L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper on the right.

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This formula is awesome. I wanted to make a before/after picture but since the product is a little too dark for me, I asked Almira to try it so you guys can see what it can do. Her left brow has nothing, and her right brow has only the L’oreal on it!

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Isn’t she gorgeous? Anyway, as you can see, this product makes a big impact. And I can tell you, out of every one of these brow products, this one is my favorite. The formula is more wet than Benefit Gimme Brow, and the fibres are much smaller, resulting in a more natural look. I also find this really holds your brows in place, so if you have unruly brows, I would definitely try this. The wand is small enough to work with ease through the brows, and the product lasts all day on me. Also, the sheer size of this is way bigger. 8.0ml in the L’oreal, versus the 3.0ml of the Gimme Brow.

So, I haven’t chosen the cheapest, or the most expensive. L’oreal retails for $14.49 CAD, which is in the middle of the other products. Since this is a more wet formula, I feel like it will last longer than the Gimme Brow and the Hard Candy, as they tend to dry out quicker. I also feel like since the formula is wet and the fibres are smaller, this provides a more precise application.

Phew – that was a long post. I am dying to know, which one of these brow products do you love the most? Now I am stuck with so many brow products, but I just had to try them all and see what one worked the best for me. Thumbs up for L’oreal for me!

-Sara