Thursday, April 30, 2015

Loving Lately - April 2015

The semester finally ended for me on April 17th and it has yet to really hit me that I'm very close to the end of my program; the vast majority of my peers are done for good. I'm super happy for everyone who is done, as it's been a longer road (up to 2 years!) for many of them. Alas, I still have a couple courses to do starting today, wrapping up my degree in July. I've been off the last couple weeks, so my makeup routine has been fairly relaxed/understated. Here are some products that have captivated my attention in the last four weeks.

I initially received this and frowned a bit, thinking it was too light to use on my lips (it is), but then remembered this formula is for lips and cheeks. I swiped Whisper on the apples of my cheeks, diffusing the colour with dabbing motions of a synthetic Sephora Collection brush. I then added a light stroke of Mystic to the hollow of my cheek and blended up gently. These colours are so flattering and crazy easy/fast to apply. Highly recommend this duo for the value if you're at all intrigued by the colours, as this dual-ended pencil is the same price as a single Nudestix pencil ($28 CAD)!

This was a limited edition repromote that I missed out on last time it was out in 2014. It was on my radar for the last month and I finally committed to the buy when the Sephora VIB sale was on. Instead of buying online, I strolled to my nearest Sephora (the Eaton Centre - a bold-faced move that I hoped would be fruitful, because that location is awesome but generally a zoo whenever these sales are on) and commandeered the Laura Mercier wall. I methodically opened each box of this blush bronzer to check out the product's veining. It's worth noting that like most marbled, baked mineral powders, the veining varies from one pan to the next. It's impossible to know what you'll end up with when you order a product like this on line. I managed to find one with a great mix of bronze and pink and have worn it daily since. I apply with a Tweezerman blush brush, applying the bronze shade to the hollows of my cheeks and temples and then dab on the pink shade to the apples of my cheeks. It's a summery look to compensate for the winter that will not die (minus that 20 degree Saturday we had enjoyed last weekend). This product is quite pigmented, so definitely beware if you're super fair - stick to a stippling brush for application if that's the case.

No secret, I'm a lip balm junkie. Aren't we all? I routinely empty my backpack during class to find around 10 lip products on any given day. I'd say it's more so a neverending quest to try'em all instead of find a holy grail product that I can't live without. During the aforementioned Sephora VIB sale, I was looking at the different brands and came across a recent brand addition to the website, Kari Gran. I admittedly have never heard of the brand before (weird, given that I'm downright obsessed with beauty, newness and learning about new brands constantly), so I read the product descriptions of all 3 products currently available from the brand on What caught my eye was the largely organic nature of the ingredients (including organic castor seed oil, sunflower oil, camellia oil, olive oil, calendula oil, vitamin E and peppermint oil), as well as the "whipped" nature of the product. I bought the Tinted version (which really is hardly a thing on pigmented lips, but so what/who cares) and love the texture and cushiony nature of this balm. It isn't at all difficult to pick up on fingertips or spread across lips. That isn't exactly a dig at your usual lip balm in a stick, pot or tin, it's just that much more of a pleasurable experience to apply this stuff. The peppermint version I got isn't too noticeable, so I certainly wouldn't consider it a plus or a minus when it comes to product merit. Oh and it lasts a really long time on lips without being at all sticky. I really do think the term "cushiony" sums up the texture best. It's comfortable, hydrating (thanks to all those wonderful oils) and sure to please if you like a slightly thicker balm without any stick factor. I'd say it's similar to Rodial Glam Balm, but a bit thinner in consistency and less goopy. I know, I know - highly scientific terminology coming into play here.

If the term "peel" make you recoil with fear, chill. Fun fact: to peel is to exfoliate, so if you've ever used an exfoliator before (physical or chemical), you have nothing to really fear here. This two-step chemical exfoliant peel is specifically geared towards aging skin (as the product name denotes), as well as sensitive skin. The first step involves swiping a dropper full of alpha/beta hydroxy acid solution on an included cotton pad across your skin, avoiding the eye area. Wait a few minutes and follow up with a dose of the Youth-extending Night Gel. The idea here is to exfoliate and remove unwanted dead skin in the first step and then replenish skin with hydration and soothing, beneficial ingredients (oat kernel extract, shea butter, ginger extract, bisabolol) in the second step. When learning about this product, the term "exfoliating boot camp" was thrown around and I actually became enamoured with the concept: using a chemical peel for several days (at least 3) in a row to kick-start the skin renewal process. This is probably the one and only time I'll ever commit to a boot camp of any kind in my life, but the results were vibrant, clear and even skin. I've been using this peel a few times a week since and loving it. Sidebar: The night gel smells delightfully similar to Marc Jacobs Cucumber Splash, my scent of choice circa 2007.

As usual, the product name is a mouthful, but it's a great bronzer so who cares! This is a last-minute addition to this post, but I've really been enjoying the ease of this product in terms of application. The texture is a balm-to-powder, but I can't say this gets overly powdery as it sets into the skin. It's just a healthy, semi-matte finish. I have shade 6 aka "Sienne" and it isn't scary to use at all on my NC40-42 skin. This specific colour reminds me of Tom Ford's contouring colour in the Shade & Illuminate palette in #2, which I would do comparison swatches of if I could find the damned thing in my apartment. Life! This stuff does contain silicone, but it doesn't irk my skin the way most "blur" products or silicone-based primers do. Certainly check it out of if you're terrified of bronzer and want something extremely blendable and natural-looking. 


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