November 2015 Favourites

 As it's the last day of November, it's time for another monthly favourites! I've actually found myself wearing quite a lot of makeup this month but most of it has come from my Smashbox palette. The rest of my favourites are products have have accompanied the Smashbox palette.
 Smashbox #Shapematters Palette
I have used this palette every single day since I got it. I love the contour shade in here and the brow powders are really good for natural looking brows. The shadows are lovely too. I have a HUGE post reviewing this palette so to keep from repeating myself,  I'll just direct you to that post - Review

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink
I have been using this as a base for the pink toned shadows in the Smashbox palette this month but I've also worn this on it's own. Although it's not the most fall/winter appropriate shade it gives a lovely, subtle, wash of colour that lasts all day.


Zoella Beauty Wonder Hand
This is a good hand cream with a lovely scent. It sinks into the hands quickly and isn't greasy. It's not the most moisturizing hand cream I've ever used but it keeps my hands from getting cracked and dry. Plus the packaging is so cute. I'm a sucker for anything Rose Gold.

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper
I was not a fan of the Maybelline Brow Drama gel but this one from L'Oreal is amazing. Besides just holding your brows in place, this gel is tinted so it's great for lazy days when you don't feel like filling in your brows and it has fibers that help make your brows look fuller. The brush is also tiny and much easier to control than the Maybelline one. I just love it!

Benefit They're Real Mascara
This is one of my all time favourite mascaras. It's amazing at volumizing and lengthening your lashes and the brush makes it really east to coat and separate each lash. Although I've never allowed myself to splash out on the full size, this is the second mini that I've gone through. The only downside is one everyone already knows, it's hard to remove.

Am I doing Blogmas?

So the question everyone has been waiting for, am I doing Blogmas this year? 
And the answer is..,.


Last year for Blogmas I had a new post up every weekday for the entire month of December. As much as I loved it, I can't do that again this year. 
For those of you who don't know, I'm writing my Honour's Thesis this year which means I don't have the time to create that many posts, so this year I'll be doing 

12 Days of Blogmas

I will blog the 12 days leading up to Christmas. That means 12 new blog posts starting on Sunday December 13th and going up until the 24th. I hope you'll join me for some festive beauty blogging fun!

Christmas 2015 Wishlist

1. ColourPop Where the Light is - This quad was designed by Kathleen Lights (possibly my favourite youtuber) and it seems like a great chance to try out the shadows everyone has been raving about.

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Although it's a horrible value for money, it just might be the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen

3. Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set Vol. 2 - I have Vol. 1 and they're my favourite brushes so Vol. 2 just has to join my collection.

4. Makeup Geek 9 Eyeshadow Starter Kit - Another eyeshadow brand I've heard so much about and really want to try. What better way to get started that with a starter kit!

5. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick- I really seem to be jumping on the bandwagon with my wishlist this year! People say this lipstick formula is their favourite. I love Charlotte Tilbury products so I just have to have one. Plus look at the packaging!

What's on your Wishlist this year?

Empties #5

 So it's been a little while since my last empties post and I've accumulated a lot of empty products. I think empties are the best way to see someone's true feelings about a product. As always I include my thoughts about the product, the longevity and whether I would repurchase.

Nexus Lavish Volume Shampoo and Sublime Volume Conditioner
I enjoyed using this shampoo and conditioner as it gave my fine hair volume. It was extremely light weight, especially the conditioner, so it almost had a watery consistency. Although I did like these products, I have used better shampoos and conditioners.
Longevity? About 7 months used about 3 times a week.
Repurchase? Not likely.

Bath and Body Works Peach Bellini Hand Soap
I have included this soap in an empties post before. I mean it's soap so it obviously works well at cleaning but it's the scent that keeps me coming back for more. This is probably my favourite scent from Bath and Body works. It's so fruity and fresh.
Longevity? 8 months used multiple times daily.
Repurchase? Yes! 

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum
Unfortunately this serum went bad before I could finish the bottle since I never used much at a time. It's a nice serum. The biggest difference I noticed with my skin after using this serum is that it protected my skin from the harsh winter wind. My skin never got as dry on winter days when I would wear this serum.
Longevity? N/A - It started smelling off and it started to separate.
Repurchase? Possibly.

I have had an empty Bioderma bottle in literally every single Empties post I've ever done. I think that says it all.
Longevity? 5 months
Repurchase? Do you even have to ask? 

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
This oil is a literal skin savor. If you have dry skin you need this oil in your life! I used up every last drop and I already had a backup. It is one of the only products that keeps my skin from getting dry and flakey in the winter.
Longevity? A year and a half of nightly use
Repurchase? Holy Grail, will always repurchase.

Neutrogena All-in-One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes
These are my favourite makeup removing wipes. I've tried a lot of other brands and even though I don't use wipes often I always come back to these ones. The wipes are soft and the formula doesn't dry out or irritate my skin.
Longevity? 25 uses as needed
Repurchase? Yes

Sephora Formula X Top Coat
I don't even know why I bothered doing my nails before I got this top coat. It makes my nails super shiny and my nail polish will last over a week without chipping! I swear I'm not exaggerating. I usually have to redo my polish because it's grown out, before I even get a chip.
Longevity? 1 year
Repurchase? Already have! Probably always will.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
This is probably my all time favourite mascara, I just wish it was a little cheaper. It gives really good length and volume but there is no flaking and the formula isn't too dry or sticky so there isn't any clumping. I seriously can't say enough good things.
Longevity? 4 months
Repurchase? Absolutely!

Estee Lauder Brow Setting Gel
I have used this clear brow gel for quite a while and it's really good at holding my brows in place all day. However it's nothing special or different.
Longevity? I'm embarrassed to say. Too long.
Repurchase? I think I can find a cheaper alternative

Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream Kiss
Nivea make my favourite lip products. This one in particular smells sooooo good! It is thick and moisturizing but has absolutely no taste.
Longevity? About a year of nightly use.
Repurchase? Always!

Have you used any of these products? 

Have you finished any products recently?

Want to see my first 4 Empties posts?

Smashbox #SHAPEMATTERS Palette First Impressions and Swatches

I recently purchased this Smashbox #SHAPEMATTERS Palette from Sephora during their VIB Sale. I had been eyeing this baby for a while as I have heard great things about both their contour powders and their Photo-Op Eyeshadow formula, so after much research I caved and bought it. I've only had it for a few days so I'll just share my initial impressions and some swatches.


I'll start with the packaging. It is matte black with embossing on the front. It feels heavy and sturdy while still only having a magnetic closure.  It's plastic but it feels like it has a paper covering over it. This palette comes with a huge mirror which stands up on it's own. They also included a little cover over the wax to keep the other powders from contaminating it or possibly to keep it from drying. I have to say I was really impressed with the amount of thought that clearly went into the packaging.
In my excitement I forgot to take the plastic off the brush, sorry!
 So the Palette includes a brow wax, two brow powders, a contour, a bronzer, a highlighter, a "glow" powder, nine eyeshadows and a double ended brow and eyeshadow brush. The palette comes with a plastic sheet that contains all of the names (I can't be the only one who hates those sheets) but thankfully all the names are written on the back of the palette. The brush is actually very usable. It's not the softest brush I've ever used but the brow end worked well to fill my brows and the fluffy eyeshadow brush could both apply eyeshadow on the lid and blend it in my crease.
I'll start on the left with the brow products. The brow wax is just a clear wax that works well to set brows. Next is Taupe the lighter of the two brow powders. The darker shade is Soft Brown. I wish there had been a little more variety in the shades as they are both a little light for my brows and very similar but I can make them work. They could also be used as eyeshadows but I did notice a texture difference between these powders and the shadows. The brow powders are much more stiff -less powdery, perfectly suited to their job.
Face powders next! So first is the Contour, a matte, cool toned shade perfect for mimicking shadows. Then the Bronze powder, also matte and it didn't end up being too orange on me. The next shade is called Highlight. This one is tricky for me. It's not completely matte, I'd call it more of a satin, and it's a little dark on my skin tone to use as a highlighter. I do love the next powder, Glow, as it's a shimmery and slightly peachy highlight.
Before I go into the individual eyeshadows I just wanted to say I was super impressed with these shadows. Besides the dark purple and black, all the shades were extremely pigmented and blended amazingly well. These are a completely different texture than the eyeshadows from the Full Exposure palettes which feel stiffer, less pigmented and have much more fallout. With primer these shadows lasted 13 hours on me without creasing and with very little fading!
So the first shade is Vanilla - a really pigmented, matte vanilla shade. Next is Totally Nude - a matte, light peachy pink. Then Champagne - as you could probably imagine it is a shimmery champagne shade. Then Stripped - a satin, pale brown colour. The bright shade in the middle is Posh and it's a shimmery pink. The last shimmery shade in the palette is Platinum and it's a silver that I feel almost pulls a little green. Then we have a dark matte brown called Sumatra. The palette finishes off with Aubergine, a dark matte purple which is definitely the weak link in this palette, and finally Blackout a matte black. You probably have a better matte black in your collection.


Taupe, Soft Brown

Contour, Bronze, Highlight, Glow

Vanilla, Totally Nude, Champagne, Stripped, Posh, Platinum, Sumatra, Aubergine, Blackout

Interactive Cards

 When I saw that this palette came with interactive cards with tips and instructions about how to use the palette I was not interested, but I actually had a lot of fun with these. If you know a lot about applying makeup there's not going to be much new information but just pulling up the website on your phone is worth it to see the magic of technology.
 It comes with 3 cards for brows, face and eyes and the cards briefly explain how to apply the products.
 On the other side of the card has a "special ink technology" box and a website to get more tips and how-to videos.
By pressing the box to your phone, it will bring up the appropriate site. I thought this was pretty cool and would be extremely helpful if you are a beginner.
Sorry this turned out to be such a long review. I'll just quickly give you my final thoughts. I really love this palette. You can get most of your makeup done with just this one palette so it would be perfect for travelling. It feels very high quality so it's worth the price in my opinion. 

Let me know your thoughts if you have this palette.

Top 3 Series: Blush

My Top 3 Series is back! If you missed the first post in the series it was my Top 3 HighlightersI have a lot of favourite blushes so narrowing it down to only 3 was difficult. I have decided on two high-end and one drugstore so here they are.
Milani Luminoso
 This is a very shimmery baked blush that gives the most beautiful peach glow. And it's drugstore! I love using this on laid back summery days because on my fair skin it works as a blush, a highlighter and it gives my skin a sunkissed glow similar to a bronzer.

Nars Deep Throat
I know Nars Orgasm is the blush everyone talks about but for me but I prefer Nars Deep Throat for a really nice pink shimmery blush. The texture is lovely, not at all chunky (like I find with Orgasm), and it lasts a long time on my skin. Whenever I'm stuck for what blush to wear, I always bring out this guy.

Lancome Aplum
This is my favourite winter blush. It's a matte mauve that gives the most natural blush to your cheeks. The forumula isn't too powdery so it's easy to get the right amount on your brush for application. If you haven't already, I highly suggest you check it out.

Milani, Nars, Lancome
What is your favourite blush?

Emma Hardie amazing face Moringa Cleansing Balm Review

This is a post I've been promising for a while so I thought it was only fitting that I end skincare week with my review of the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.
I picked up this cleanser back in the summer when I was in a London Space NK and I have been using it ever since. I don't believe this cleanser is available in Canada but you can order it from Feel Unique. Unfortunately the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the UK pound makes this an extremely expensive cleanser (about $76) so I will be very sad when I have to replace it.
That being said, this is the best cleanser I've ever used (no exaggeration). I have very dry, sensitive skin and so cleansers that work with my skin are hard to find. They usually either irritate and cause breakouts or they over dry my skin leaving it feeling really tight and uncomfortable. This cleanser does none of those things! My skin always feels moisturized, soft and clean after I use this cleansing balm. I usually dread cleansing my face, it's one of my least favourite parts of my skincare routine but with this cleansing balm not only is it quick and easy, it's actually really enjoyable. 
The cleansing balm has a balmy texture that turns to an oil quickly when melted and a milk when mixed with water. It also has a really lovely fresh, citrus scent.

This cleanser claims that it:
- Thoroughly cleanses and moisturizes the skin
- Helps to purify and minimizes the appearance of pores
- is calming for sensitive skin
- is revitalizing for dull and mature skins
- Can be used as a rescue balm, i.e. on dry elbows or knees, or as a lip balm.
- Doubles as a soothing mask if left on the skin for ten minutes.
How to use it: I take a little in my hands and warm it up to turn it into an oil then I apply it directly to my dry face and massage it in. I have used this cleansing balm both to remove my makeup (which it does effortlessly, including waterproof mascara) as well as to cleanse after my makeup has been removed. Once it's been massaged in I add a little bit of water which turns it milky. I then use the double sided cloth that comes with it to remove the cleanser. I love using hot water to wet the cloth as it makes it really comforting and luxurious. I use the soft side of the cloth to wash off most of my face and then I use the exfoliating side to gently scrub the areas that have more dry skin.

So overall this is the best cleanser I've ever used and it is fully worth the expensive price tag. I highly recommend it. 

So that brings us to the end of Skincare Week, I hope you've enjoyed it!

Have you ever used this cleanser? How did you like it?

My Morning Skincare Routine

A few weeks ago I posted my Sunday Night Skincare Routine so I thought it was only right that for Skincare Week I show you my everyday morning routine. Just so you know I have very dry, sensitive skin. I'm not saying I have the perfect skincare routine, but this is what works for me.

Bioderma (Sensititve Skin)
The first step in my morning routine is cleansing. Although some mornings I do use a real cleanser, most mornings I'm too lazy and I just end up wiping my face with some Bioderma. Not ideal but better than nothing.

Indeed Labratories Hydraluron
The next step in my morning routine is this hydrating serum. I did a full review of this on the first day of drugstore week so if you missed it you can find it here. This really works to keep my skin looking hydrated and plump.

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me 
The next step in my skincare routine is moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer for about a year now and I really love it. It is good at moisturizing, it makes my skin feel really soft and it seems to reduce some of my redness. It also smells absolutely amazing- very sweet.

Origins GinZing Refeshing eye cream
The last step in my morning routine is eye cream. This one from origins is really brightening. It also depuffs under my eyes. I love using it each morning as it really makes a difference to my dark under eye circles.

It's a pretty easy routine and it only takes a few minutes but it seems to really work with my skin.

Let me know what products you use as part of your Morning Skincare Routine?

Also I can't let it go unnoticed that this is Remembrance Day (or whatever you call it where you live) so take a moment and think about all those who have fought for your country. 

Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron Review

To start off skincare week I thought I would review my new favourite skincare product. I've found my skincare savior.
This is a moisture serum that you use daily under your moisturizer and it works at hydrating the deep layers of your skin.

According to the website: "hydraluron™ moisture serum contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid, an incredibly hydrating ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water."

This works to hydrate and plump up your skin. I've been using it morning and night for about 2 months and I can say I have noticed a difference in my skin. It's a lot less dry and it's much smoother. 
This is not a moisturizer so it is important to use a moisturizer over this serum. 
This product has a gel formula, it's clear and a little thick so a little goes a long way. It goes on and feels a little sticky but it dries extremely quickly and leaves your skin feeling smooth. It is also completely fragrance free. 

Here in Canada it is a reasonable price and its is available at Shoppers Drug Mart. I highly recommend it.

October 2015 Favourites

Sorry this post is a little late. It's midterm time again- ugh the life of a University student. I don't actually have many favourites this month so this will be short and sweet.

Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron
I don't want to say too much because this baby gets an entire post dedicated to it. I'll just say this product is a game changer. You can find the post where I review this serum here.

Zoella Candy Cream
This lotion is not only moisturizing but it really does soften my skin. I've been loving using it this past month and I've really noticed a difference. Plus it smells really lovely and it supports one of my favourite youtubers.

Lancome Blush in Aplum
I've been using this blush all month. I think it's the perfect plum colour for fall. I included it in my Autumn Essentials post. It's not too pigmented which means I don't have to worry about applying this dark blush too heavily and looking like a clown.

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm
My lips have been getting drier as the air gets colder and this lip balm has worked really well to save my lips. It's clear and not too sticky but thick and it smells like mint and lime. It's very soothing.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara
I have such a love/hate relationship with this mascara but it's been love this month so I thought I would include it. This is honestly a pretty average mascara but now that it's dried out a little (and less clumpy), it does a good job at giving my lashes lots of volume.

Halloween Candy
Because Halloween is the perfect excuse to stuff you face with chocolate.

What have you been loving this month?