My Beach Day Must Haves

Victoria Day long weekend is the official kick off to summer in Canada, and while I spent it celebrating a friend’s wedding, it’s time I get prepared for upcoming beach days.

First thing’s first, if I’m going to be out in the sun, it’s important I protect my skin.


I’ve been using Clinique Super City Block for years and love it because it’s light-weight and doubles as a primer if you’re planning on wearing makeup.

And for the rest of my bod, I use the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.


I hate the greasy feel of most sunscreens and this one doesn’t leave you feeling like you went through a slip-n-slide covered in olive oil.

It’s against my nature to leave the house without makeup on, because that’s just how I roll, and during the summer I prefer light-weight sheer coverage. My favourite is NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.


It’s a tinted moisturizer but the coverage is more like a sheer foundation; with a little NARS Creamy Concealer my skin looks flawless.

I don’t want to wear a lot of eyeshadow on a beach day, which is why I love the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eyeshadows so much.


These are so light-weight it feels like you have nothing on your lids, yet the colour payoff is rich. The finish is metallic, which gives your eyes a nice sparkle under the sun. I’m currently completely obsessed with the Rio De Rose Gold shade.

Metallic lids are set off with contrasting matte black liner and Tarte’s Tarteist Clay Paint Liner is my favourite.

It’s perfect for waterproof/beach-proof winged liner.

And no look of mine is complete without an agonizingly long internal debate on what lipstick to wear, so perhaps I’m not the best person to suggest an option for that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I just picked up this adorable tote (because I’m obsessed with florals right now)


and it’s packed with Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, my camera, plus a notebook, 3 pens, 2 pencils, some pencil crayons, and a new colouring book, making it impossible to get bored.


There are two things I need before my next beach day. The first being a new pair of sunglasses and I’m obsessed with this pair from ASOS.


And most important, a new bathing suit, so I can frolic in the rarely warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. And I have my eye on the Alesia Plus from Adore Me‘s swim and lingerie website.

It’s cute, stylish, and colourful and would be perfect for relaxing by the ocean!

Now let’s hope today’s gloomy day leads into a sunny weekend so I can start spending some time at the beach!

Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara & Urban Decay Perversion Mascara Review

I received a tube of Lancôme’s new Grandiôse mascara from Influenster for review and when I got the box in the mail my first impression was “How does a mascara need a box this big?!” As much as I love creative packaging, I hate wasteful packaging, but I digress, let’s continue talking about mascara.

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I love the packaging on this. It’s pretty and feminine and the trademark rose is nice touch.

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I’ve never had a mascara come with instructions before…

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I hate these types of brushes. I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns.

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And here is me pre-mascara. There is a bit of eyeshadow on my lashes, hence the gray tinge.

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So, I followed the instructions that were included with the mascara, and my lashes look pretty good in the photos below, but I hate this mascara.

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It’s a nice mascara, don’t get me wrong, but it just does nothing for me. It defines them, sure, but that’s it. I have long, fairly thick lashes and this mascara just makes them look meh. The worst part, however, is something that happens whenever I try mascaras with these plastic brushes–they leave too much product on my tips (which is a good thing if you have short lashes) and each lash looks like they are the same thickness from root to tip.

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I like my lashes to look feathery and dense and always comb them through with with my Tweezerman metal tooth lash comb; the Lancôme Grandiôse mascara, though, leaves the tips of my lashes looking squarish rather than tapered and feathery even after I’ve combed them through.

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But just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean this isn’t a good mascara. It’s just not a good mascara for me. I think it would work better for someone with shorter lashes (in fact, I should test this and try it on my mother). It does have great staying power, and in the name of testing (*ahem*) I wore the mascara to sleep and it didn’t even budge.

A mascara I am loving currently, and is everything I love in a mascara, is the new Urban Decay Perversion mascara. When it comes to mascaras, lengthening is a low priority for me. I prefer volume. That said, Perversion gives me the volume I love and makes my lashes look lash-extension long.

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I mean, I am always a huge fan of mascaras that make it look like I’m wearing false lashes and Perversion does that so, so well. It doesn’t flake or smudge and again, in the name of science! I’ve slept with it on (don’t do this kids, just don’t. It’s a bad habit) and I barely noticed a difference the next morning.

IMG_8888.JPGSo, basically, it’s a huge thumbs up for UD’s Perversion mascara for me (like, I will totally purchase this mascara again) and a thumbs down for the Lancôme Grandiôse one.

*Lancôme Grandiôse mascara was provided by Influenster, while the Urban Decay Perversion was purchased myself.

 

 

A Long Overdue Giant Haul Post (no actual giants were hauled during the writing of this post)

So I went to Sephora. And I bought some things. Just a few things. Things I needed. At least that was the intention. Go to Sephora, pick up a concealer that needed to be replaced and some setting spray because I’d run out and that was that. In and out.

But then the aisles of shiny pretty things lured me in (not that I resisted that hard) and soon enough I had that little black basket full of new toys to play with while I eyed distracting baubles that lined the way to the cash register. How many more Jack Black lip balms did I need? I was carrying two in my purse right at that moment. You have no idea how much strength it takes to keep passing over that Shu Uemura eyelash curler time and time again because who needs 4 eyelash curlers, right?

For too long I’d been pretty staid with my previous beauty purchases; spending only birthday gift cards on things that needed to be replaced and cashing in my MAC recyclables for new lipsticks. This time, however, I just said fuck it to responsible beauty purchases and decided I was just going to buy whatever the hell I felt like buying. And so below is a collection of beauty stuff I bought over the course of the last 6 weeks.

20140629-174706-64026746.jpgI rarely cash in my Sephora points. I don’t know what amazing thing I’m saving them up for, but usually if there is a mascara I haven’t tried I’ll use 100 points to save from buying a new mascara (until my more recent purchases, I hadn’t bought mascara for about a year between my Sephora points and Clinique bonuses).

It took some convincing by the Sephora girl to get me to try out the Tarte cheek stain because I don’t usually bother with blush more than a swipe of NARS Orgasm to give my face a little colour. But thank you Sephora girl for convincing me to try this because I LOVE IT. It looks so natural and it lasts all day and gives my face just the right amount of colour. The only problem is that I probably need to get like 4 more now.

20140629-174711-64031063.jpg I am a huge, huge fan of the Real Techniques brush line (so much so that I’m always trying to get people I know to buy them like I’m a pusher, but my drug is fabulousness and tools to help that fabulousness along). I just wanted a spare liner brush, but no one seems to carry just the liner brush here, so I bought the entire starter set because who can’t use more eyeshadow brushes, right? A week later I found the silicone liner brush at Winners and the heavens opened up, cherubs began to sing, and I was ensconced in an ethereal light. I found the liner brush of my dreams, because my dream is a liner brush that is easy to clean and keeps it’s tip sharp.

20140629-174711-64031950.jpg I’ve been using the Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray for years now, but this is the first time I tried the B6 spray and because I keep forgetting to actually use it, I haven’t really formed an opinion on how well it works. Oops.

My newest thing has been trying out and collecting different concealers so I rarely buy the same one twice, except that I love the NARS Creamy Concealer so much that I can’t imagine not having it in my makeup bag. But that is what tempted me into buying the new Laura Mercier Full Coverage concealer. It’s a bit on the dry side, which makes it perfect for mixing with my MAC Pro Long Wear concealer. I’m pretty sure this tube will last me until the next millenium because you only need the teensiest amount to cover your entire body.

Hourglass’ Iconic liquid lipstick is one of my favourite lip colours (I’m going to have to update this post already) which I bought especially to wear for my cousin’s wedding in Ottawa.

This is the third time I’ve replaced that Stila liner, which in my universe means that me and that Stila liner are now married.

The Maybelline 24 hour lip colour I bought because I kept hearing about how great it was (when worn properly) and how it lasts forever. I’m not saying I fell asleep wearing it and woke up the next morning with perfect lipstick, but I fell asleep wearing it and woke up the next morning with perfect lipstick.
20140629-174707-64027636.jpgThe Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder trio is the one thing that I regretted not buying when it first came out, but now it’s permanent, so now I can look like I’m being followed by a professional lighting crew wherever I go.

20140629-174704-64024940.jpgThe only time I buy makeup remover wipes is when I travel, so I bought the Elf ones before I left for Ottawa. They got my makeup off and didn’t dry out my skin, so thumbs up.

I actually bought the Kiehl’s stuff before anything else because I needed a new moisturizer, and lemme tell you, since I started using the ultra moisture line, my skin is SO much better than it was earlier this year. For the first time in ages my skin is closer to normal than dry and I don’t feel like a crocodile so much anymore.

20140629-174705-64025855.jpg I needed a new blush brush that wasn’t an angled blush brush (say blush brush 3 times fast) so I bought the Real Techniques one because it’s cheap and awesome.

I heard a rumour that MAC was discontinuing the Strobe Liquid, so I panicked and stocked up because what was I going to do without Strobe Liquid? I use it just about everyday (mixed into my foundation) and have for the past 15 years or so, so the thought of it being discontinued was like ABC canceling Pushing Daisies all over again.

I wanted to try Urban Decay’s new felt tip Perversion liner, but I didn’t like it (it’s not a bad liner, I just didn’t like it) so I exchanged it for the Naked Flushed palette in Streak, which I loooooooooove. The blush is a gorgeous coral, the highlighter is a super pretty golden colour, and while the bronzer is a little light for me, I don’t mind because it 1. has no shimmer, and 2. makes for a really great blending colour for eyeshadow.

Since I keep hearing good things about L’oreal’s gel liner I thought I’d try it out for myself since my MAC gel liner is starting to dry out. The formula is pretty nice and smooth and colour is opaque, though maybe not as black as I tend to like (I like my eyeliner to be the same shade of black as my soul). Not sure if I’d repurchase this one though. I think I might go back to my number one gel liner love: Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Liner.

20140629-174709-64029083.jpgI’ve been using Benefit’s Brow Zing for years, but once Anastasia’s Dip Brow came out, I had to try it. My brows are unruly and Dip Brow reigns them in really well. A little goes a long way, but it makes a huge difference in how groomed my brows look. Plus, it lasts all day, which filling in with powder didn’t always do. I’m a little obsessed with this stuff.

20140706-133954-49194194.jpgSo, I wasn’t planning on buying anymore cosmetics for a while because I technically didn’t need anything new, except Benefit decided to release a new eyeliner and technically I needed to try it out. For science. And of course I couldn’t just order the eyeliner, I had to order enough so that I qualified for free shipping. I mean, what else was I supposed to do? Pay for shipping? Hardly.

So I added a few more things to my basket: The Sephora Favourites Lash-To-Go box, a Josie Maran Coconut Water eyeshadow, Amazing Cosmetics concealer, and then a bunch of samples I haven’t gotten around to trying out yet.

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The Lash-To-Go box includes a Blinc mascara, TooFaced’s Better than Sex mascara, Lancome’s Hypnose Drama, Tarte’s Lights-Camera-Lashes mascara, and Bare Mineral’s Lash Domination Volumizing mascara, plus a voucher for a full size mascara of your choice. I’ve only used one each one once so far, so I haven’t really formed an opinion on any of them yet. The Blinc mascara is a tubing mascara and while I don’t particularly like it for my top lashes, it’s been great for my bottom lashes (I don’t know what it is about tubing mascaras, but they’re the only type of mascara I look forward to taking off because it’s so fun to watch the tubes come off your lashes!) Better than Sex mascara is probably my favourite mascara so far because it makes my lashes look really full while also separating them. I LOVE Lancome mascaras and the Hypnose Drama is pretty nice, though the Doll Eyes mascara is still my favourite. The Tarte mascara is also nice so far, but I haven’t really formed much of an opinion on it either way. That goes for the Bare Mineral’s mascara too.

Once I’ve gotten a better impression of them each I’ll do a separate post on them and by then I’ll probably be able to decide which one I’ll use my voucher on.

Ok, so let’s talk about Benefit’s Push Up Liner. There has been a lot of hype around this liner and I’ve read dozens of mixed reviews; I personally like it a lot, but I don’t LOVE it. The formula is a little dry and I think the product as a whole would benefit (heh) if the gel formula was closer to the consistency of Bobbi Brown’s gel liner (which is a little more watery than MAC’s and L’oreal’s). To get the liner to the intensity that I prefer I have to go over the line a few times, and if I don’t work quickly and the formula dries the liner will start to flake. And if you twist out too much product it will crumble. On the plus side, Push Up Liner makes easy work of winged liner (yes, even for me). If Benefit ever decides it’s going to rework the formula though, I will probably love the hell out of this because it’s pretty excellent, aside from that little problem.

20140706-141652-51412905.jpgI think from all the stuff I got, my favourite product is the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour eyeshadow. It’s a liquid eyeshadow that is lightweight but very pigmented. I got Playa Del Pink because it seemed like a nice neutral colour; the shadow is a light golden shimmery colour  that I can’t  even really call shimmery. It’s more accurate to say that it glows, but not in that Mr. Burns-I-bring-you-love kind of way, more like an ethereal elf queen kind of way. I LOVE this eyeshadow. It’s so perfect for summer. This colour is light enough to be worn in the day (and would look so gorgeous on the beach because of it’s shimmer/glow) and translates perfectly to night because you can build it up without the shadow creasing or looking heavy. I wore this to my friend’s wedding on Monday, which was an all day event, and there was no creasing or fading in the least (I did wear it with a primer, but I have oily lids and need to wear a primer). I will probably be buying at least a few more shades from this line.

Whew! That’s it. That’s all the makeup I bought lately. Now I need a nap.

 

 

A Few of My Favourite Lipsticks

So, I had this post planned for a while, but in planning I couldn’t settle on which lipsticks to feature, so I took photos of a bunch of the lipsticks I wore over the course of two weeks, plus the ones I looked most forward to wearing when Spring finally gets here and came up with a small-ish list of the lipsticks I love the most, at the moment.

First on my list are the Revlon Balm Stains. Not even one specifically, just all of them.

I love them. Everyone has reviewed these and everyone loves them and they deserve all the love because they are so lovely and perfect and gorgeous. I probably wear these more often than anything else on this list because I always have at least one in my bag, they’re easy to put on when you’re running out the door, and they last forever. And by forever, I mean, I may have, on occasion, fallen asleep while wearing one of these and woken up the next morning still wearing it (yes I am going to just glaze over the fact I’ve admitted to sleeping with my makeup on. Whatever, you’re not my real mom.)

Anyway, I have practically every one of these and if Revlon ever discontinues them, they will be dead to me. Do you hear that Revlon? DEAD. TO. ME.

Revlon Balm Stains

I basically wore Maybelline’s Colour Sensational Vivid lipsticks all of last summer. After seeing a photo on tumblr of a model wearing a lipstick that I (obviously) became obsessed with right away, I discovered a dupe of it in Fuschia Flash and then the monster was unleashed and I bought 4 5  6 more of the Colour Sensational Vivid lipsticks. The pigment on these lipsticks is great. Each one is just as vibrant on as it is in the tube and they last for ages. I wore Vivid Rose during Eid last year and it lasted through all the greasy Eid food and overly sweet punches with minimal wear. And they are so comfortable to wear and don’t dry my lips out either. Just writing about these lipsticks makes me want to put them on. They’re so good!

Yes, the two I don’t currently own are on my to-buy list, and yes, they will be mine.

Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivid Lipsticks

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the OCC Lip Tars and in the midst of my obsession with neon lipsticks last summer I knew it was only a matter of time before I made Anime mine. And then I did and we became BFFs and went everywhere together and it was great. The brighter the lip colour, the happier I am.

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I wanted a velvet/matte finish bright red lipstick for a while and after recommendations from a number of friends I went to Sephora to try out the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains. I immediately snatched up Strawberry Kissed. It was the perfect shade of red that I was looking for and bonus, it was only $12! The colour is so bright and gorgeous. It’s the perfect summer red. I do a little prep before wearing this (exfoliate and then lipbalm) but it stays on all day long. The formula isn’t very drying, but wearing balm underneath keeps my dry lips nice and moisturized all day.

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The last time I went to MAC I had a bunch of things to take back for recycling and I wanted to add another reddish lipstick to my collection, which is when I discovered MAC’s Party Time. It’s a burgundy-leaning red in MAC’s creamsheen formula, which makes it really comfortable to wear. The colour is rich and bold without being too outrageous. It was a perfect choice for those terrible, endless days when we were all wondering if Winter was ever going to end. And a new lipstick is always a good way to indulge while you wait for Spring to show up.

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I don’t feel that putting MAC’s Girl About Town on this list needs any explanation really. I mean, just look at it.

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I needed a new mascara and that led me to the Lancôme counter because I wanted to try the Hypnôse Doll Eyes mascara (which is amazing, btw) and got a L’Absolu Nu lipstick as a gift. “Gift” lipsticks are rarely good, but Voile de Rose is a really beautiful shade of pink. I don’t often wear softer lip colours, but this one is one of my favourites.

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As a girl who started wearing makeup in the 90s, I started off my lipstick wearing life wearing weird browns and taupes and then transitioned into nude lip colours and by the time the 2000s hit, I was firmly on team pink gloss. It took me a while to warm up to wearing lipstick again, especially bright, bold colours of lipstick. So, when I finally decided to give lipstick another chance I started with MAC’s Rebel. No matter what other lipsticks come into my life (a lot of lipsticks come into my life) Rebel is always going to be in my top 5.

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Ruby Woo. What can I say about Ruby Woo that hasn’t already been said? It’s Ruby Woo; it doesn’t need further explanation.

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Honourable mentions go to: MAC Impassioned, MAC Hibiscus, Dior No. 999, Sephora Collection Lip Cream Stain in Endless Purple, NARS Funny Face, Buxom Full-On Lipstick in Barcelona, and Clinique Chubby Stick in Hibiscus.

 

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser

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So, this was my mystery vox box from Influenster!

My hair isn’t really damaged, considering I rarely use any heating tools on my hair anymore, but I really like this shampoo a lot. It kept my curls from frizzing which is a huge and annoying issue for me.

I did get some build up when I used it for a week, so I’d recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of product build up, but it does work really well.

Bonus: It smells fantastic!

*These products were sent to me from Influsenster.