Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer 2013 Favourites (Updated with links)

L-R Clockwise
Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil - Honey Kissed - I broke this out again for the summer. This was also a summer favourite on mine for last summer (read about it here), however, I did use it more this summer than last and I realized that I really dislike the smell. The smell is not awful but it just lingers around for the whole day and can overpower my perfume. I will not be re-purchasing this because the smell does bother me a bit!

Jane Iredale Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer - Again, this was in my summer favourites last year. Because this does not give me any coverage for me at all, I don't think I will be repurchasing this again, especially considering it is quite pricey for what it is.

MISSHA M Signature Real Complete B.B. Cream SPF 25 PA++ in No. 23- I have this in the shade No.23, which is described as a natural yellow beige on the Missha website, however, I still get a redish tinge to my skin. To lessen the effect of that and the coverage, I mix this with my Jane Iredale TM in a 1:1 ratio. I will not be re-purchasing this because the shade is not a perfect match!

LancĂ´me La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum - read my full review here.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Waterproof - read my full review here.

Physician Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio in Black - I love this eyeliner so much because it does not budge and it goes on quite easy. I love this for days when I don't want to wear a dramatic wing, but because it is so easy to use, I find myself reaching for this even when I want to do a heavy wing.

Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow - To avoid using too much powder for the warmer months, I have been using this for my contour. It is very blendable and the shade is a cool, matte brown. I like using this with my Real Techniques Contour brush.

These were some of my favourites for this past summer. What were your guys' summer favourites?

XO Nicole

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Wish List

Well, it's that time again! There is nothing more exciting than getting ready for another start of the school year, and for the Fall and Winter (my two favourite seasons - Fall, in particular). For some reason, wish lists for the Fall school semester and/or the Fall are so much easier to compile! Anyway, I decided to combine my Fall wish list with my birthday wish list - as I did last year - and share with you some of the things that I am coveting, and hopefully, will be getting. As with most of my wish lists, these are not new releases that correspond to the season - it's just things I have discovered and want to incorporate into my beauty rotation! These are more pricier items but most of them are base makeup for the face - I can easily justify these purchases because I feel it is so important to have a nice canvas and also, products that do not have horrible ingredients. I have a feeling that this wish list is really a shopping list because I feel like I genuinely need all these products!

  1. Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation $34/$41CAD
  2. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Anti-Aging Concealing Cream $32USD
  3. L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm
  4. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
  5. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer $45USD/$49.50CAD
  6. L'Oreal's False Lash Telescopic
XO Nicole

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sephora VIB Celebration Bag 2013

Sephora's VIB Celebration Bag is one of the latest perks for VIBs. Free with $35USD/CAD purchase, this "Celebration" bag comes with 9 samples, including some of which are deluxe samples. The bag that I received contained the following:
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional (0.25 oz)
  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly (0.07 oz)
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Nude (0.5 oz)
  • Stila Lip Glaze in Apricot (0.05 oz)
  • Hanae Mori Butterfly Eau de Toilette (0.04 oz)
  • Sephora Collection Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 (0.17 oz)
  • Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow in N° 56 Queen For A Day (Gun Metal Mirror)(0.07 oz)
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (0.34 oz) L'Occitane Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (1 oz) Boscia Bright White Mask


Sephora Haul (feat. Kat Von D)

Ever since I have made the switch to BB cream and/or tinted moisturizer, I have been on the look out for a good powder to provide some extra coverage for the days that I need it. The Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation is a popular foundation for super high coverage, but since I am not a fan too high coverage foundation and also because the Lock-It Tattoo Foundation did not have any shades that match me perfectly, I passed on it. Just this year however, Kat Von D released a powder counterpart to the Lock-It Tattoo Foundation. Again, even though she has a wide range of shades to choose from, I still couldn't find a true match for my skin so I picked out two shades, Light 45 and Medium 53. Check out my post featuring these two products to get more details on the product. 

Check out what was in my VIB Celebration Bag here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Featuring Sephora Beauty Insider 2013 Birthday Gift

It's finally my turn to haul the Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift! If you guys haven't seen this, here you go! This year's gift is provided courtesy of Benefit cosmetics; it consists of a deluxe sample of their ever so popular They're Real mascara, and also a "luminous champagne" highlighter, Watt's Up!. I am especially looking forward to trying the mascara and seeing what the hype around the mascara is all about! Oh, and you can read about last year's Sephora BI birthday gift here - link.

XO Nicole

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's in My Makeup Bag?

I came across a few different blogs and videos on back to school makeup basics and they all seemed pretty redundant to me, ie. just conceal, light eyeshadow, tinted lip balm and mascara! I think we all know how to keep our makeup routine minimal just by choosing and using the essential products so I didn't want to go that route for this blog post. Rather, I decided to do a post on what I'm packing in my little makeup/emergency bag for back to school.

P.S. I'm starting my senior year of university today - it's last home stretch till graduation so I'm keeping my makeup minimal to save time for sleeping and acing those courses! What about you?
  1. Maybelline Dream Matte Pressed Powder - as I mentioned in the corresponding blog post for this product, this does a really job of absorbing the oil on my face, although the shade is a bit to pale for me at this moment! I really like the fact that this does not cake your face and it is relatively inexpensive. By the way, this is my second compact of this stuff! (Full review here)
  2. Dr. Bronner's Magic Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint - this has been my favorite lip balm thus far. I have opted for this lip balm over the EOS lip balms (both are organic and natural, which is what I am going for) and I really enjoy this. When I apply this, it feels like it's literally putting butter or oil on my lips - like it's melts instantly on your lips. The peppermint scent is great too - it feels like I have fresh breath! It also gives a slight tingle which I also love. I will definitely be purchasing another Dr. Bronner's lip balm when I finish this one up.
  3. Almay Oil Free Makeup Eraser Sticks - these are a lifesaver, especially if you are like me and have oily eyelids and are always experimenting with new mascaras. I have a ton of sample mascaras that are unfortunately nonwaterproof so when I wear them, I might have smudges throughout the day but these can clean them up in no time.
  4. Oil-Blotting Sheets - I purchase pretty 'generic' blotting sheets because they do the job at a very low price. I should also mention though that since using the Skindinavia Make Up Finishing Spray, my oil-production has been more controlled and I have not found the need to reach for this as frequently.
  5. Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 - I love the fact that this lipbalm has SPF in it as my stick chapstick does not. I also love this because it gives crazy shine on your lips. If layered over a lipstick, it will look like you have a lipgloss on. I love it even though it is not my #1 most moisturizing lip balm product.
  6. Travalo - I find spraying on perfume as opposed to using rollerballs to be more effective and more long-lasting for me so I always have to have this handy.  You can read more about the Travalo here. As of right now, I have my travalo filled with a mixture of perfumes. I love to combine perfumes (that might be weird to some of you but I have yet to come upon a nasty chemical reaction between different scents - phew!) and I also like to switch them out every once in a while so I usually do not fill it in to the max (just a tip if you guys are like me)!
This is all I take with me because I really do not use much makeup for school. To be honest, school brings out the competitive academic side of me and when my performance and marks (and precious sleeping time) are on the line, I could really care less about having a flawless complexion and perfectly arched brows, etc etc; however, at the same time, the beauty-addict inside of me forces me to at least carry some oil-absorbing products ;) (no grease ball sitting in lecture rooms here). That was my little rant but all and all, I hope that you all have/had a great first week of school - fall and Christmas is in the horizon :).

XO Nicole

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

I love cute little things like this. I wanted to share with you this mini brush trio that I received as gift with purchase - you can read about the actual haul here. This actually suckered me into making the purchase in the first place. I don't have any mini brushes nor do I bring brushes with me for touch ups, but since I hate using the puffs that come in powders, I thought this would come in handy. I only every used the powder brush. The other two brushes are pretty much a joke but they are the most cost-effective option. Maybe it will come in hand one day though that I never use these eyeshadow applicators. The "eye liner" brush looks too filmy and weak to execute a presentable winged look - and who brings gel liner with them for touch ups? Not me. Ok, the last bit was a harsh rant but that's really my honest opinion. Regardless, I did have all these in mind when I made the initial order so I really can't complain. The idea of this kit is really cute. I actually have used the powder brush a handful of times now! Random observation - the pouch is also the perfect size to fit your cards in there.

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

Featuring Lancome Mini Brush Set

XO Nicole

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lancome Blush Subtil Shimmer Miel Glace Photos, Review and Swatches

Miel Glace is one of Lancome's Subtil Shimmer Blush. It is definitely not the most exciting blush shade in the line but I feel like it's a staple blush for pale/light-skinned gals. Though in the pan, it looks beige and boring, the blush shows up as a perfect blend of pink, mauve and subtle shimmer, adding a nice natural glowly flush to your cheek. This blush is my go-to when I don't know what blush to wear or when I want to go for a more natural look. The blush itself is nicely milled and quite pigmented. It glides and blends onto your skin effortlessly. The lasting power is pretty impressive. I have oily skin but this blush holds up a full 8 hour work day.

XO Nicole