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Winter Skin Saviors

Winter came, it’s here – you know how I know? I am in a full-body itch and it’s as gross as it sounds. Winter is my favourite season but it is murder on my sensitive skin, everything itches. I hate it, I don’t even want to put clothing on which isn’t conducive with having a job or needing to leave my apartment. Au revoir, feather light body souffles and luxurious shower gels of summer, it’s time for the A-Team.

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I believe that moisturizing should start in the shower and I have tried numerous in-shower body moisturizers but aside from Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, I haven’t found one that makes a difference. I use a plain ol’ Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. I know that bar soap can be more drying than gels or shower creams but this one is very nourishing. It is a soap-free product that leaves the skin feeling soft but not sticky. It is fragrance-free but it does have an odor, it doesn’t smell bad but it reminds me of when I worked at an assisted living home but it’s worth it for itch-free skin.

I follow up with a good slathering of Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – this cream is great because it is very moisturizing but it absorbs quickly. The claim is that this formula binds water to the skin and creates a moisture-barrier, this provides the longest lasting moisture and soothes itchiness – it’s fantastic. It doesn’t smell like anything which is also a bonus. Cetaphil released a couple of new facial moisturizers that I would like to try, I will admit that I have put this on my face around my mouth where my skin get super dry and it works but I wouldn’t apply it all over my face.

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For face care, I switch out my oil cleansers for Pond’s Cold Cream for the first step in my double cleanse. This product instantly dissolves all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and supple. It’s a classic, I have used it for years.

For face cream, Vanicream is the only heavy moisturizer that wears well under makeup and doesn’t clog my pores. This is just a simple moisturizer that gets the job done, it definitely puts some spendier face products to shame too.This has a faint oatmeal scent to it and again, it feels like it will be super heavy and it does pack a lot of moisture but it is surprisingly light-weight.

I am a sucker for luxurious skincare but sometimes it’s necessary to go back to the oldie, goldies. Most of these products I have used since I was a kid and they never disappoint.

Thanks for stopping by ā¤

 

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Top 5 Mascaras, Currently

I say currently because I am always keen to try new mascara. I love mascara, it is probably my most purchased beauty product after blusher. It is most definitely the only bit of makeup that I must have on if I am in a rush out the door. I love phat, voluminous, chunky (not clumpy) lashes. Sadly, mascara is the one beauty product that I tend to be allergic to and I am restricted to a few of the same brands. Luckily, most brands have several formulas to choose from so that I can feed my mascara addiction.

To start, I have Dior Show in standard black, it surprises me that this formula does not irritate my eyes because it does have a fragrance to it. Good thing too because everything about this mascara is perfect, from the blackest black formula to the fluffy, tapered wand. The oversized wand is perfect for building volume and it does a fantastic job at separating each of my lashes. It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t smudge, it doesn’t flake – it just gives you perfect lashes.

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I use a lot of tarte mascaras as they have never irritated my eyes, my favourite mascara from them has to be the Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara. This formula is also very black, easy to build and wears well. This has a tapered conical wand that lets me get really into the corners of my lashes and is small enough that I can use this on my lower lashes. This is an easy product to build and I can pinpoint areas where I want more volume with the smaller wand.

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My favourite mascara cocktail as of late are actually two mascaras from tarte that I don’t like on their own – Maneater and tarteist lash paint. Both formulas are a gorgeous, inky black but worn alone just make my lashes look too natural. The Lash Paint has a long wand with short, spiky bristles for darkening and lengthening. I don’t really need length though, and that is where Maneater comes in – also with spiky bristles but the wand shape helps to separate each lash so that I can build volume. I will do about 3 coats of each to get my perfect lash look. Both formulas wear well and also don’t flake or smudge.

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Finally, ah, my favourite mascara that I am allergic to. This was actually the very first mascara that I ever purchased the first time that I shopped at Sephora. #memories. Buxom is everything that Better Than Sex wants to be and I don’t know why it doesn’t get talked about nearly as much! It has a full bodied, hourglass wand that coats and separates each lash while also giving crazy volume. This is the best mascara I have ever tried but if I wear it for more than a few hours, I am paying for it with red, watery eyes for the next week. I only keep a sample-size on hand now days but I always have it in my cabinet.

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I don’t currently have a favourite drugstore mascara but also haven’t really looked. If I had to pick one that I used to use all of the time but don’t currently own, it’s that Rimmel mascara in the hot pink tube – you know the one šŸ˜› That was an OG fav of mine when I first started wearing makeup, I should pick one up and see if it is as good as I recall.

That’s it – thanks for stopping by ā¤

 

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Sample Saturday – Tom Ford

What is so irresistible about luxury beauty? I feel as thought there has been an influx of these brands within the last 5-10 years, there has to be some aspect that is so appealing to consumers. I recall brands such as Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clarins, Guerlain and YSL being the must have luxe-brands and in comparison to some of these newer ones, the oldies seem downright affordable which is absurd. I understand the thrill of owning a really stunning bit of expensive makeup but not from these no-name brands that are flooding Sephora. I feel better about sinking cash on the brands who have a history of quality rather than say, oh, Tom Ford. Who the hell is Tom Ford and why does he think that anyone is shelling out 50 bucks for a lippie?! I mean, I know who he is but how do these brands get backing when they are brand new and have literally no reputation? I am also a hypocrite though because I got sucked in at the Tom Ford counter during the VIB sale and did purchase something. The BF (movie buff) literally asked – Tom Ford? He did that shitty Nocturnal Animals movie, what does he know about makeup? My point exactly. Anyway, we’ll talk about my hypocrisy when I post my VIB pick-ups.

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I received a Tom Ford Lip Colour in the shade Indian Rose in the Play! All Star Edition box a couple of months ago. It is an exact replica of the full-size and has a nice weight to it even being so teenie. The packaging and aesthetic is completely on point and classy but we’re here for the formula. The first thing I noticed about this product is how soft it is, you get a lot of pigment with just a swipe but you also use a ton of product. One of the ingredients is murumuru butter which is great for rich, buttery skin creams but not something that I have seen in a lip colour. I prefer my lippies a tad stiffer because I am not great at applying lipstick and don’t want full pigment on first swipe. I also wouldn’t want to take a lip brush to this beauty either but I did get good results by using a stiff liner before application. It is very moisturizing but does have quite a lot of slip and didn’t set down for me – it transferred onto everything. The fade was mostly graceful, I didn’t see any bald patches but this is definitely not long-wearing which,Ā  it does not claim to be. My issue with this is, if you are reapplying it numerous times during the day, you are blowing through a ton of product because of how soft it is. The shade is very much like a dozen other tubes that I own which is another issue that I have with these, there aren’t any shades that really impress me – I have seen them all before. Is it lovely? Absolutely. I did like it but I would need to love it for that price tag ($54) and I just didn’t. Maybe if I was just wearing it for a couple of hours on a special occasion, but I need my makeup to be a work horse and this lippie isn’t that.

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What are your thoughts on luxury brands, are we just descending into madness? It’s like when TSA started making us take off our shoes and our response was,Ā OK. Fifty-dollar lipstickĀ *shrug* If you have tried something from this line and love it, let me know!

Thanks for stopping by ā¤

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ColourPop Palette Haul

I am a huge fan ofĀ Stranger Things, I mean – who isn’t though? I feel like out of all of the characters, I relate most to Barb. Super nerdy, gets the shit end of the deal for seemingly no reason šŸ˜› We’ve got the ginger connection, so I decided to wear blue eye-shadow today, not quite as blown out and pastel as she wearsĀ but it’s a look. I mostly wear neutrals to work, I don’t love getting complements on my makeup, if that makes sense – but there is no pretending like bright blue eye-shadow is natural. I think that blue eye-shadow should make a comeback – who’s with me?

First, let’s just pretend that these are good photos – it has been dark here for like a week, I feel like I am living in Greenland. Second, let’s pretend that I didn’t go HAM on the recentĀ ColourPop sale. It is already extremely affordable makeup and I don’t understand why it is so much more enticing when it goes on sale but I couldn’t pass up the offer. Also, the palettes were not a part of the sale anyway so unsure of why I decided to get these. Anyway, I picked up 3 more of their smaller palettes, aside from the disappointment of theĀ Yes, Please palette – I think that these are really great quality at a more than reasonable price. For the palette part of myĀ ColourPop sale haul, I picked up theĀ You Had Me At Hello, SheĀ andĀ Element of Surprise palettes. I am including some images from theĀ ColourPopĀ site so that the actual shades can be seen,Ā mer, mer.

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These are all 12 pan palettes that have a mix of matte, metallics and even a few duo-chromes. I will say that you get a ton of purples, pinks but this was my intention. I have been wanting to add more purples and pinks into my collection – I have so many bronzes, coppers, golds and browns that I just don’t need anymore. I have used each palette but not enough to have an opinion yet but so far, I have enjoyed the shades that I have used. One stand out shade for me that was actually a surprise wasĀ Duchess from theĀ She palette – it claims to be a matte, dusty coral but it went on like a hot pink on my eye. It worked out but definitely not what I was expecting. I have been skipping brushes entirely with the duo-chromes and metallics because I just know that I am going to get the best pigment and shine with pressing them into my lids. I don’t have a standout favourite yet but will be back with a review when I do! I love the soft, matte packaging that these palettes have, the pan sizes are great and one did come with a mirror – I could take or leave that but I know that it is an important aspect for some. The palettes without the mirror retail for $16 and theĀ You Had Me At Hello palette retails at $18 with the mirror included.

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Silk Street, Oppulent andĀ Blank Canvas are not intended for the immediate eye because they contain the red dyes that are not FDA approved – I still use them on my eyes and nothing happened. Not saying that some won’t have sensitivity to this dye but I didn’t.

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Like I said, when I use them more – I will be be back with a review and swatches but so far, I have been enjoying them!

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Currently Coveting – Beauty Advent Calendars

My favourite thing to watch nearing the holidays on YouTube is all of the beauty advent calendar un-boxings, I will literally just drink my morning coffee and binge watch un-boxings because this isn’t something that we do in the states. You will see chocolate or little toy ones but these beauty ones are on a whole other level. Sadly, most are already sold out because they were released in October which makes no sense. Who is thinking about advent calendars in October!? Well, the people who managed to snag them but I mean – who else? Honestly. Most of these are sold out or weren’t ever available in the US but a girl can drool.

Target 12 Days of Beauty – I will start with something affordable but has a lot of beauty products that I already use or would like to try. This one is sold out online but retailed at $15 and included what looks to be some skincare, makeup, hair careĀ andĀ accessories. You have a wide range of brands that are offered atĀ Target, I love the variety with this one.

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Origins Give Joy Super Set – This one is still available and retails for $70 which isn’t bad for 12 samples/deluxe samples from this brand. Apparently, one of the doors is an ornament, pfffft.Ā Yes, it is all skincare and body care butĀ Origins does have some really nice products, this calendar includes products from theirĀ GinZing and charcoal lines which I already know and love.

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L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar – I am pretty certain that they always release a calendar for the holidays, it is available in the US and this is still available on their site for $124. This calendar includes some amazing products including quite a few items from theirĀ Shea Butter range which is my absolute fav. The packing on this one is also stunning and so festive, you get 24 pieces – I think this one looks like a fantastic value.

Dior Advent CalendarĀ  – This one is definitely one of the pricier calendars but it’sĀ Dior, you get 24 pieces for $425. Honestly, this would be like a whole Christmas for me šŸ˜› They only give you a peek of some of the items but it does include some of their more iconic offerings. Look at that box, soĀ Dior. This calendar is still available for purchase on their site.

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LUSH 12 Days of Christmas – I think I am going for this one, I stopped at the MOA boutique assuming that their Christmas range was out but it wasn’t! I could just order it online but that’s not as fun as the in-store experience. This box retails for $114.95, and includes 12 of their holiday products including some seasonal favs likeĀ Golden Wonder andĀ Shoot for the Stars. I need to get myĀ LUSH holiday on, I might brave it this weekend.

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Selfridges L’Oreal Luxe Beauty Advent Calendar – We don’t have this department store over here,Ā mer, mer. This box includes 24 pieces from some ofĀ L’Oreal’s luxury brands includingĀ Kiehl’s, YSL, Lancome, Urban Decay – all for $141.38Ā given the current exchange rate. It doesn’t look like this one is available online any longer either, too bad because it looks amazing.

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Estee Lauder Beauty Countdown – Are you kidding me with this!? I don’t get why we don’t have a selection of advent calendars in the states, I feel like they would be really popular but maybe they aren’t? This calendar included 25 pieces from variousĀ Estee LauderĀ brands and retailed at $147.27 which is not bad for all of these brands. Although, I have noticed that there is quite a hike in prices on these – it isn’t just a straight conversion.

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Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box – This one is available onĀ Beautylish and retails for $200 and includes 12 pieces. This is another one that seems like a really good value, I definitely want this one but yikes, is it spendy. As you can see, it includes skincare and makeup items – the box is really lovely too.

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Kiehl’s Beauty Advent Calendar – AnotherĀ Selfridges exclusive and it does appear to be sold out, straight conversion on this would have put it at $129.47 but I bet it would be bumped to $150 if it was available to purchase here. This includes 24 of their bestselling products, this would be a fantastic introduction to the brand or for anyone who uses these products and wants some travel sizes.

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John Lewis Beauty Advent Calendar – Again, are you kidding me with these brands!? Apparently, this was available to American consumers online viaĀ Amazon but I missed it. This one included a range of 25 sample and full-size beauty items, it looks gorgeous.

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Those are my top ones, I think that my picks will be theĀ LUSH andĀ Charlotte Tillbury calendars as those are pretty much the only ones that are available to me. There are loads of others including releases fromĀ Jo Malone, Benefit, Asos, Atelier Cologne, Marks & Spencer – this needs to be a thing in America! I know that Sephora, ULTA and Amazon did release one for 2017 but they don’t look nearly as amazing as these ones! If you have a hankering to see what all of the fuss is about,Ā Ā Fleur DeForce andĀ Eltoria have quite a few un-boxing videos up already.

I am sneaking in some snips of theĀ Jo MaloneĀ one because it is just too gorgeous. This one went for over 300 bucks:

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How about you, are you a fan of these calendars? Did you manage to snag one?

Thanks for stopping by ā¤

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Wednesday Reveal – October Birchbox

This is actually my final Birchbox, I only had two months left of a full year of this service but it didn’t seem worth it. I didn’t love this subscription, yes it is only $10/month but the boxes always felt thrown together with no cohesiveness. Also, this month I think I received the curated box which I didn’t choose…? Anyway, here is what I received in my final Behind the Scenes box:

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Matrix Biolage R.A.W Uplift Shampoo & Condition – I like the aesthetic of this line from Biolage, they look like juice drinks. This is a volumizing and body-boosting duo formulated with black sesame and grapefruit. I have used these a few times now, they smell nice and herbal but I was surprised of how long the fragrance lasted over the course of the day, I don’t like my hair care products to be so perfumed. I cannot speak to the volume but my hair did feel nice.

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Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream Gel – This claims to be a lightweight, deeply hydrating moisturizer that is formulated with hyaluronic acid and moringa oil.

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Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – Yay, another black eyeliner that I am never going to use. I don’t know it is about liquid black liners that look so bizarre on me, I love a good kohl or creme liner but not liquid. It closes off my eyes and I just don’t like them, this will be a gift-away.

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentration – I already like and use this product, I think this was a great inclusion in the box. This will be a gift-away since I already own the full-size. This is a cell boosting serum that imparts overnight radiance, it really does – I love this stuff.

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That’s it for my last box, not a grande finale per say but not the worst box that I have received. I am now on the hunt for a new one to try, I still have not found a paper product one that I am terribly interested in but that would be ideal.

Thanks for stopping by ā¤

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Tamagotchi – The Return

90’s kids, rejoice, theĀ Tamagotchi is back. The 20th Anniversary release includes 6, smaller replicas of the original Japanese characters and are quite possibly the best thing to come out of 2017. I have been scouring local toy stores and big-box stores since the release date and finally just broke down and reserved one online atĀ Best Buy after not being able to locate one in-store. I have to say that I was a tad surprised that these sold out so fast as critics were saying that with all of the technology available to young kids now, these aren’t relevant anymore. So either, there were like thousands of 30-something-year-olds like myself buying them or the critics were wrong and there is still something charming about this little blob jiggling around on this completely outdated, 8 pixel screen. I think it’s the latter, as soon as the egg hatched I was just as enthralled as a 10 year old, feeding and cleaning up after Blobby (I never named mine, did anyone)?

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These retail at $14.99 and people are already selling them for 3 times as much, don’t do it – it’s fun to own a piece of nostalgia but it would be silly to pay more than $14.99 for this. I have the fuchsia version and the pet is just a blob but the other colours did look like actual animals, sorta’. I didn’t get to choose mine and when I got to the store, they were sold out on the floor. I would love to get the orange one though, it looks like a little bug or something. In comparison to the original, it is much smaller, of course my hands are bigger but this is like a keychain charm – still adorable. It has three buttons, the functions are eat, poop and sleep – I seem to recall that the originals also needed to be entertained and rewarded/punished? Which as a kid was really odd to me, but the idea was to simulate a real pet. If you feed it too much, it will refuse the food and it does chirp when it’s hungry just like the original. It will also chirp if it is in a bad mood or is sick, I haven’t experienced this yet. My siblings and I would get into contests to see who could keep their’s alive the longest (the sad thing is that we hadĀ realĀ pets) and mine always died overnight but this one just went to sleep at about 10 PM and stayed that way until almost 9 this morning. I don’t know if they all do that but much lower-maintenance than the 90’s version. Mine also hasn’t morphed into anything, as I recall, they used to mature and change appearance but we will see if that happens.

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Thinking back on it now, the first virtual reality really wasn’tĀ that cutting edge – we hadĀ Nintendo and Gameboy and an actual VCR in our home (it was pretty amazing at the time) but even with all of the advances in technology, there is something endearing about these little gadgets. I cannot explain what it is, maybe just the nostalgia for me but I think kids today would still get a thrill out of them. I am delighted that I was able to snag one and think that they would make a fun stocking stuffer šŸ™‚

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UPDATE – He did morphe from the little blob above, now it is a little dino! I am still not changing his name from Blobby, I don’t know how long he will survive šŸ˜›

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Thanks for stopping by ā¤