Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Cleaning Project: Use It Up Buttercup!

Hey Everyone, So as some of you may know I am currently living in Europe working as an intern. So, since I have an extended stay outside of my home town, but am not moving here permanently I had to be rather frugal with what beauty products I brought along with me. I thought that my time in Europe would be a great opportunity to really try and use up some of my beauty products as a means of spring cleaning... For the past month or so, I have really been focussing on trying to use stuff up and haven't purchased any new beauty products at all. I don't want to entirely call this a project pan, because I wanted to give myself some flexibility in case I found something really special here that I wouldn't be able to get back home, or if I ran out of an essential product that I cannot live without. Anyways without further ado, here are really quick reviews of some of the products I have used up so far:

1. Equate- Make-Up Removing Cleansing Cloths
     I figured I would give these cloths a try since I have still not found the perfect makeup wipe. On the whole I was fairly pleased, but they are definitely not a holy grail product for me.

What I like about them:
-Unlike many of the makeup wipes I have tried so far, these ones stayed moist to the very last cloth, which is super important to me since the whole point of a makeup wipe is to not have to moisten it to get it to work.
-The plastic closure on the pack is far more secure than any of the sticker closures that many makeup removing cloths have. I think the plastic closure is also one of the main reasons that the wipes didn't dry up on me either.

- I think the general performance for these cloths was on par with everything else I have tried so far. They get the job done, but with mascara and longer lasting products you do have to massage it a bit to get everything removed.

What I don't like about them:
- I found the texture of the wipes to be a bit more abrasive than what I am used to. Since I primarily use these around my eyes and have fairly sensitive skin, the somewhat scratchy texture is not the most appealing feature of these cloths.

Final Verdict:
- On the whole they aren't a bad product, but I don't necessarily think I would recommend them... I probably won't end up purchasing these again unless I can't find anything better. In the meantime I will continue to search for the best makeup wipe for me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Color me Obsessed!

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
Right to Left: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet, Creme Brûlée

Long time no blog I know. What can I say, life has been busy and I haven't really been excited about makeup for a while until recently that is.... I would like to preface this by saying that I have never ever in my entire life gone out and purchased so many of the same product line in such a short span of time. This new line from Revlon has transformed me into some kind of crazed lip butter addict. Seriously it's getting out of control! (I have actually purchased two more shades since I took these photos... see i'm obsessed!) Anyways back to the point, these lip butters are awesome. 

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
(Same order as above)

As others have mentioned in the gazillion reviews I am sure you have perused already, lip butter is perhaps not the most apt term for these gems. As many have suggested they are more like a sheerer, more moisturizing lipstick which is precisely why I am so freaking obsessed! As i've grown a bit older I have come to be less afraid of lipstick and more annoyed by the inevitability that my hair always finds a way to find itself in my lipgloss. At the same time, I don't always want full blown LOOK AT ME colour on my lips which is why these lip butters suit me so well. 

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

Some might ask why I don't just sheer down an ordinary lipstick, don't get me wrong I have definitely done this before, but it can be a bit of a hassle and depending on the formula of the lipstick you may end up with something that is still not  as moisturizing as the Revlon lip butters.

Light Swatch (One Swipe): 
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

So let's get to the point now. Why am I so crazy for Revlon's Color Burst Lip Butters?

1. They offer a sheerer alternative to lipstick but are still pigmented enough to show up on my lips.
2. The formula is comfortable to wear and glides on easily without being too slippery.
3. The colour selection is actually quite nice and suitable for a wide range of skin tones. 
4. The packaging is sturdy yet bright and fun :)
5. They don't have any crazy scent or taste.
6. They aren't frosty!!!! (Not going to lie, I have a serious distain for frosty lipstick)
7. They are relatively affordable and easy to find

Medium Swatch (Three Swipes): 

Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

The only downside that some people might find is the wear time. Given that the formula is more moisturizing they do not last as long your standard lipstick.  Personally I don't really mind having to reapply occasionally but others might want something that is longer lasting. All in all I have really been enjoying this product and seriously need to stop myself from buying up the whole line.
Heavy Swatch (Five Swipes): 
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

For the Canadian readers out there so far I have tracked them down in Canada at: Wal-Mart, Zellers, Shoppers Drugmart and London Drugs (I am sure they are available elsewhere in Canada by now as well). Wal-Mart was selling them for $7 something, Zellers $9.99 and Shoppers and London Drugs were both around $10.95 so it definitely pays to shop around. 

I plan on doing a more in-depth post for each shade eventually (complete with lip swatches) and I will update this post with pictures of the two other shades I picked up the other day once I have some sunshine to photograph with :)

P.S. All photos were taken with natural light and no flash and yes I purchased each and every Lip Butter with my own money 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chanel Mimosa Nail Lacquer Swatch and Review

Chanel Mimosa

 First off, I would like to say that the hoops I had to jump through to obtain this product will probably prevent me from ever purchasing a Chanel cosmetic product again. To make a long story short, the Chanel counters where I live are apparently notorious for leaving their coutners unattended and not scheduling staff for the full duration of the Bay's operating hours. As a result, I had to go back several times to acquire this polish which speaks volumes about how much this colour intrigued me. Rant aside the colour is definitely the most appealing element of this polish. I didn't find the formula to be mind blowing (especially for the price) so unless you fall in love with this lovely lemony yellow with a hint of shimmer I would save your money for something else. That being said, I do love love love this shade and think it is quite unique, hence the reason I sprung for this polish.

Chanel- Mimosa

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

China Glaze Short and Sassy Swatch

China Glaze: Short and Sassy
A pretty standard shimmer polish for China Glaze. I had avearge wear for this. It is a nice blackened red that is great for fall and a little more vampy than your standard red shimmer polish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Michael Kors Very Hollywood: Eau de Parfum Review

Michael Kors  Very Hollywood 3.4oz Eau de Parfum

So, i've kind of been on a bit of a perfume kick for a couple of months now. I thought about purchasing this particular perfume for quite a few months before making the plunge, and managed to get it for an awesome deal while on special at one of the drug stores where I live. Normally I'm not a huge floral person, but I really like this fragrance because it is more of a full bodied floral and not super top note heavy. Before I go any further here is the description from the Michael Kors Website:

"The Eau de Parfum makes its debut with shimmering jewels of mandarin and iced bergamot. Scene-stealing gardenia follows suit with a decadent performance of award-worthy glamour"

Personally I find the most dominating note in this fragrance to be the gardenia which contributes to the very smooth, 'full bodied' nature of the scent, after all as I am sure those of you who have smelled gardenia before will know, it packs a punch while remaining smooth. I think this is a pretty flirty fragrance that is particularly suited for the spring. Although fragrance is a pretty personal thing, I would definitely encourage those who generally don't like florals to give this one a whiff. I would also strongly reccommend this scent to anyone who likes gardenia! On a completely superficial note, I really do like the packaging and colour of this perfume as well. It definitely feels like an indulgence everytime you use this perfume!

Michael Kors: Very Hollywood

Monday, February 21, 2011

China Glaze: Tis the Season to Be Naughty and Nice Collection Review and Swatches

 China Glaze: Frosty, Jingle Bells, & Jolly Holly
 I am extremely late on this one, but I figured I would upload my swatches since some e-tailers do have holiday polishes still in stock. As you can probably tell from the photo, I picked up three polishes from the sixteen polish collection. I got Frosty, Jingle Bells and Jolly Holly which I thought were fairly unique and also very festive. All of the holiday polishes this year had a silver handle instead of the tradtitional black. I thought Peace on Earth (which is an olive green shimmer) was also nice, but didn't end up ordering although I might someday if I can get my hands on it.

Frosty: is a white frosty shimmer (just like China Glaze describes it). I didn't have any application issues, the polish itself is somewhat sheer, but personally I think that was kind of the point of this shade. It's a nice wintery alternative to nudes and light pinks for those who like light coloured nail polish. I used two coats of polish in my swatches which are semi-opaque (since you can still see the white part of my nails in some lights/angles) in any event I think it is a nice shade for winter.

 China Glaze: Frosty

 China Glaze: Frosty

Jingle Bells: is described by China Glaze as a champagne shimmer, personally I think this polish leans a bit more gold than they describe it. It is not super finely milled as some shimmer polishes are, but it isn't super chunky either. This polish is a really nice that isn't too blingy (basically it isn't a chrome style polish) or too muted, but rather somewhere in the middle. This polish like frosty is another, albeit warmer alternative to nude or light peach polishes. I also found this polish to last longer than others with very minimal chipping in comparison to other polishes I have worn recently. I would definitely reccommend this shade!

China Glaze: Jingle Bells
China Glaze: Jingle Bells

Lush Review: H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment

I got a pot of this stuff for my birthday I while back and have been meaning to review it for a while. I have since used the entire jar and thus feel like I can make some informed comments on the hair treatment, but first here is how Lush describes H'suan Wen Hua on their website:

"Care for dry hair.
Super-conditioning care to feed your hungry hair. It's LUSH salad dressing for the head; a nutritious treat to make hair more healthy and pleased to be alive!
Nutritional hair treatment.
Avocados are nutritious and softening, balsamic vinegar gives amazing shine, and watercress infusion is exceptionally high in vitamins and increases the tensile strength of the hair.

How to use
Apply generously to dry hair, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then shampoo out. Use about a quarter of a pot for short hair, or about half a pot for longer hair. Those with very long hair should use the whole pot. (Yes, it is a lot, but the effects are long lasting and well worth the investment.)"

Before I get too in depth with my review I should say that I personally don't think my hair is particularly dry, however I live in a city that does get very cold, dry and windy, so in the winter my ends do get a bit dry especially since I haven't had a hair cut in a long time (i've been super busy and when I did have a chance to get one I found out that my hair dresser had just gone on vacation for a month!) So with that in mind, I did intially think it would be hard for me to make any serious claims about how much this helped my hair combat dryness.

For the first application I didn't use a huge amount, just enough to cover my hair (probably around a sixth of the jar) which I still thought was a lot (my hair is currently about 2 inches past my shoulders). Like the instructions suggested I left it in my hair for about 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning my hair like normal. In regards to the after effects of the first application, it wasn't anything spectacular, my hair felt a bit softer but I felt like the change in texture wasn't anything amazing. I used it 2 more times with a bit more product each time, saturating my hair, waiting 20 minutes before washing my hair like normal with similar results, although I would say the condition of my hair did improve a bit with each application. At the very least, it did help my hair against the harsh cold and dry weather which has been particularly damaging to my hair and skin this year. For my last application I put just under half of the jar in my hair. For the final application I also made sure to work it into my scalp really well and left it on a bit longer than usual. I noticed a much greater difference in my hair this time, in the shower my hair felt much softer as I was rinsing it out (similar to the feeling one gets immediately after washing out a really good conditioner, but amplified atleast 2 times), after shampooing and conditioning my hair it still felt softer than usual. The same could be said after I had let my hair air dry (I rarely ever use a hair dryer, it makes my hair too frizzy) and straightened it. With the results of these different applications in mind, I would definitely say that more is better. Massaging the product into the scalp also helped garner better results.

The product itself is fairly strongly scented, definitely not my favourite scent although I think it is hard to describe... to me it kind of had the warmth of the smell of chai, but more savory. When taking a closer look at the ingredients I can definitely smell the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and cinnamon oil (hence the chai esque scent). Personally I wasn't a huge fan of having my hair smelling like this, especially since the scent did linger post shampooing and conditioning. That would be one of the downsides to the product for me, but then again scent is a very personal thing. The product is rather creamy, but still runny enough to coat your hair and scalp without too much difficulty. It is a bit expensive for a hair treatment, so it's probably not something you are going to incorporate into your regular hair routine, but rather something to be used when your hair needs some major help in the moisture department.

On the whole, I did like H'suan Wen Hua but I don't think it is quite a 'holy grail' product if you will. It did make my hair softer for a couple of days after application, but the results were not quite as long lasting as I would have liked. The scent is not my favourite, and since it remains somewhat noticably on the hair for a few days after washing this can be bothersome. I definitely think a very generous application that is massaged into the scalp and left on closer to half an hour yields the best results. For the moment, I think I might try out some other products to see if they can help add moisture to my ends while waiting for my hair dresser to get back in the country before trying this out again.

Lush's H'suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment