Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Loving Lately - May 2015

May has been an absolute blur, very much a blink-and-miss-it month. I turned 28 this month and spent the long weekend celebrating, first with friends and then with family. I also took a quick jaunt to Vancouver, which is so lush and beautiful, it's sometimes hard to believe it's a part of Canada (I consider the vast majority of this country to be dull tundra). It's been a busy few weeks, but I feel like school has calmed down and I'm at peace. Maybe I've just watched the ending of Mad Men too many times. In any case, on to the standout products of May:

A particularly unsexy way to start this post, but I've been a bit caught up in my nails this month for all the wrong reasons. I can't even begin to harp on about the sahara state of my cuticles. I saw this on and marched over to the store to buy it. While this is $48 CAD, I must point out that Deborah Lippman's award-winning The Cure cuticle cream is $29 CAD in itself and a full size of that SKU is in this set, so it kind of sweetens the value a bit. I'm very into the cuticle pusher tool included and the Cuticle Remover works well (I suppose they all do, but believe it or not, I didn't actually *own* cuticle remover before this set!). The Cuticle Oil is a coconut dream, which is awesome because I find apricot oil-based cuticle treatments cloying. The Cure cuticle cream is honestly worth the hype. Its claim to fame is that it contains patented raspberry stem cells. Not sure if that's what I'm hooked on, or if it's all the other good stuff in here (red algae, shea butter, hyaluronate, vitamins A/C/E), or perhaps it's the floral smell... either way, it works fast, absorbs quickly and makes cuticles look picture perfect. Get into it.

I received this bottle of cleanser almost a year ago and it has taken me *this* long to finish it, and I've been using it 1-2 times a day for that entire duration. While I do double-cleanse at night (sometimes starting with a micellar water [like Bioderma Sensibio or Bioderma Hydrabio] or cleansing oil [like L'Oreal Sublime Radiance]), this gel cleanser is always, always my second cleanser for making sure every bit of makeup is off. It's soap-free and pH-matched to skin, which leaves the face comfortable with no tightness or panicked urge to reach for a moisturizer. I repurchased a bottle of this stuff the other day. Testament!

I remember first trying the "universal" colour of this brow pencil a few years ago. While I liked the formula, I couldn't help but feel that dubbing a colour "universal" isn't really accurate for things like brows when it comes to just about anyone. I am really happy that Dior has come out with a darker brown shade to suit anyone with darker hair/features, as the formula is hard enough to not melt off in heat and the precision point is the very best for fine-tuning brows. The skinny spoolie is also key, as it doesn't spread the colour around, just tidily works it through hairs. 

I spent the majority of the month addressing a case of eczema around my eyes (....not a good look), so eye makeup was a no-go unless absolutely necessary (sunglasses came in handy most days). Once it cleared up, I wasn't really in the spirit to try to do anything too fussy or elaborate in the way of eyeliner or shadows, mostly because I just didn't want to deal with a labour-intensive removal process that may cause my skin to flare up. While they aren't pictured, the little applicators that come with this single eyeshadow are actually pretty useful. The sponge/foam one is actually covered in a flocked velvety fabric, which creates a much softer line when pressing this plummy dark brown into the lash line for a bit of relaxed definition. It's an understated shade for daytime, which I feel will be instrumental for quick summer makeup, as it takes maybe 30 seconds to apply this shadow to both eyes. Speedy, simple, effective, which I didn't think I'd subscribe to as a makeup lover, but here I am. 

Honourable Mention: Le Labo Rose 31 toiletries

Let's just say I stockpiled these little bottles of joy while staying at the Fairmont in Vancouver and that the security officer confiscated a few from me because he felt my Ziploc was overflowing. In all seriousness, it's intriguing to see such a niche brand distributed in such a mass-yet-refined way. I can only imagine what people think when they see "rose" on the label and then actually smell it, because it's such a smoky, unisex approach to the most classic floral, with notes of cumin, amber and cedar to make it so modern. 6 by Gee Beauty is the exclusive retailer of Le Labo in Canada, if you're ever interested in exploring this perfume, hair and body care range without hopping the border or visiting a Fairmont hotel. 

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