Tuesday, November 26, 2013

current blush rotation

*This post contains one item provided by an outside company for trial.


As a self proclaimed blush fiend, it is rare for me to stick to one blush a day and call it good. I tend to crave a different shade, finish, and brand depending on on my outfit that day, how much time I have, or even what type of mood I am in. Despite this, I recently realized I have been rotating through the same set of blushes for over a month. Since a blush routine is very rare for me, I figured it deserved a dedicated blog post. My current "blush mood", as we can call it, has been all about easy, natural colors.

Cailyn Peach Pink

First up is *Cailyn Deluxe Mineral Pressed Peach Pink Blush. I recieved this as part of the Wantable subscription box that was sent to me (first mentioned in THIS post). To be honest I had zero expectations when I first laid eyes on this product. It looked like your typical, nondescriptive blush shade that you can find in every makeup line. But then I went ahead and applied it to my cheeks and I had to reprimand myself for being so quick to judge. This blush is really fantastic. I'm talking, I made my sister try it on to make sure it looked just as flattering fantastic (it did). It has just the right amount of pigment so the blush pros won't scoff at it and the blush novices won't give themselves clown cheeks.

This color is self described as a "Peach Pink" but on me it leans more peach. I have quite a hard time making peach blushes work for me which is why I think I was wary to begin with when I saw the color in the pan. Peaches usually end up too dirty on me (MAC Melba) or too orange (MAC Peaches). This shade instilled some peach blush hope for me, I thought they would never flatter my skin tone.

The only gripe I have about this product is that is it heavily scented, a bit like grandma. Luckily it doesn't stick around but it is still a bit bothersome.


Hopefully I don't have to talk much more about CARGO Tonga as I just blogged about it and it has its very own review post. To summarize, one of my favorite blushes to date. Although it looks very boring in the pan it goes with any look, buffs into the skin wonderfully, and the color is very uplifting. Highly recommend it.

Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum


You get a shoddy iPhone 4 picture to showcase this one! If you have been following me for a while you know my love for Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouges. They come in a nice variety of colors, the texture isnt greasy or too tacky, and the lasting power is great. I have been reaching for Bobbi Brown Velvelt Plum (in the old packaging) when I feel like using cream blush and to give a nice rosy grape cheek. No such thing as a rosy grape, but just go with it. Unfortunately this color is discontinued (!?!?)


Not your typical fall shades but I can't seem to get out of this rotation. Really into the natural cheek at the moment. What is in your blush rotation currently?

++ Wantable sent the Cailyn blush to me free as part of their subscription box. This post does NOT have any affiliate links

Sunday, November 24, 2013

TAG: the 5 product makeup

I was tagged by Jenny from My Funny Valentine (SN: click with caution, she will make you want to buy many many lipsticks/glosses because all shades look amazing on her) to do a 5 product face challenge. It is pretty self explanatory: make up your face using ONLY 5 products. I had to put on my multi-tasking cap for this one...


My order of importance: blush, mascara, liner, foundation, bronzer. I picked Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation as my base because I knew I could skip using powder due to its (overly) matte finish. I also doubled up its usage by gently tapping a small concentration on areas that needed concealing. I used my Stila Sun Bronzing Powder Shade 2 to warm up my complexion and topped my cheeks off with CARGO Tonga, a seemingly boring dull pink shade in the pan but an absolute wonder on the face.


For my eyes I smudged some Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof liner in my lash line and water line. I used some of the same Stila Bronzing Powder to deepen my crease as well as to soften out the liner on my lower and upper lash line. A copious amount of L'Oreal Voluminous Original mascara finished up my look.


I was surprised that I came up with a look that was so minimal but didn't look rushed. Made me question my normal 5425 item routine. The only thing I would have liked to add to top off my look would be highlighter. Just looking at these photos really irks me, my skin is in desperate need of some glow.

I tag Will Work for Makeup, Lil Lady's Life, Sleep & Water, Blush is the New Black, 15 Steps then a Beauty Blog, and anyone else interested in trying out the challenge. Have at it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

bioderma sebium pore refiner

I am a novice when it comes to primers. I tend to have a lazy/quick approach when it comes to daily makeup if you haven't noticed. I like to be done and ready in a decent amount of time and adding a primer seemed like an extra unneeded step. Terrible deducting skills on my part since primers really can help with longevity of makeup, especially with my oily skin type. My first real experience with primer is with today's topic: Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner.


I actually don't believe this product is even meant to be a primer. Bioderma describes it as a "correcting concentrate". To me that sounded like a fancy glorified lotion. It is marketed to improve the appearance of the skin by refining texture, making pores less visible, maintaining sebum, and giving a velvet finish. Lots of promises with this little tube.


My first impression was that the tube was small! You get 30 mL of product which is just shy over 1 oz. I think I am too used to my huge CeraVe lotion bottle as comparison. If I think of it as a primer, the size is around what other primers tend to be. The product squeezes out as a light lotion-like consistency, as you can see in the above picture (Please excuse my parched hands! Note to self, invest in hand lotion). That is around the amount I use all over my problem areas (inner cheeks, nose, forehead, chin...sometimes I smear the residual moisture over my eyelids for good measure). It sinks in very quickly and doesn't feel greasy or heavy. There is a scent but it is very pleasant, almost cucumber/fresh smelling.


Hopefully you can see the state my au naturel skin is in: pore galore, shine to share, a little pink. My camera, bless its heart, cancelled out some of the sebum that was shining through on its own. Trust me when I say in person it looked slicker.


Notice a difference? It is huge! Well to me at least. Pores are blurred, oily spots are matte, skin is not as angry with me. The effect is immediate and noticeable. It gives such a great base for makeup application. When I use this my makeup lasts much longer and I am not nearly as oily. I even tried wearing this with Revlon's Nearly Naked foundation (which normally melts off me quickly) and it helped make it stick around for my entire day.


I have nothing bad to say about this product. It is kind of a godsend? I want to try out other primers to compare but I am very happy with this and would wholeheartedly recommend it to any oily skinned ladies/gents. My only word of caution is if your skin is prone to dryness, this will make your skin feel tight. But it is a silly word of caution as dry skinned ladies/gents shouldn't be investing in this type of product.

I am in love with this and don't want to let it go. It has an immediate effect, controls oil, sinks in the skin beautifully, and makes any makeup base last longer than normal. If you have oily skin it is an absolute must try. If you have dry skin avoid this as it will zap your skin, but I hope that goes without saying. I bought mine from Amazon for around 26 USD. I believe Canadian and European consumers will be able to find this in stores. Us Americans and other regions have to settle with searching on Amazon or other sources.

What are your favorite primers? I am curious about Hourglass Mineral Veil and perhaps even more curious about Becca Poreless Priming Perfector. The Becca primer almost made it into my cart for the Sephora VIB sale but I skipped out on that this year...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

soothers & saviors

This past week my body has been throwing a rager. It has been drinking (hot tea) like crazy, covering all possible surfaces with (tissue) confetti, and the (mucous) fluids have been flowing freely without signs of stopping. Cold season! Blech, can't we just skip over this part of the year? Apparently my body doesn't like missing out on all the fun. Raw skin around the nose, chapped lips, dehydrated/sensitive skin; being sick is no picnic! Luckily I've come across some soothers and saviors this week to help me get by and zip through this illness.


Right so let's talk skin. I have been using Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser with the provided muslin cloth and it has made my skin feel so incredibly soothed and nourished. The muslin cloth that comes with is really brilliant, can I get more of these? Possibly a whole package or 5? I must find out because I love how gentle yet effective it is. The cleanser itself is a cream that is very hydrating and leaves my skin feeling exceptionally soft. It rinses off easily and doesn't give that dried out squeaky clean feeling.

I have been using two toners lately. Yes both. In a row, right after the other. First I apply Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner to help renew chafed skin gently without any stinging or added irritation. Then I apply Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner to add in extra moisture to placate my sensitive skin. It seems a bit excessive but I have noticed this has prevented any redness from sticking around.

Did you know humans get chapped lips because we have no sebaceous or sweat glands there? Spit glands are all we got and that stuff is drying and harsh as heck. It does partially digest your food after all! My sister had been raving about how heavy duty Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment was and I initially scoffed at it. These lips do not warrant any glorified Vaseline to touch them. But I was in a pinch and applied some to my pout randomly and dear lord this glorified vaseline blew my mind. Heals up lips quickly, hydrates for hours, plumps up and softens. Best of all, it doesn't leave that weird icky white lip ring in the end. Begrudgingly accepting this as supremely effective, even if it doesn't tingle or taste very fun. At least it doesn't taste like that blasted Carmex crap.

As for inner health, I have been drinking hot tea like there's no tomorrow. Jasmine tea, white tea, pu-erh tea (no idea how you pronounce this), you name it. Nothing soothes the soul (and throat) like some good ole piping hot tea.

What are your cold remedies? Any saviors and soothers that should be added to my routine? And, random, but how hot do you like your beverages? I like my tea extra steaming hot. Once it starts to cool down to a warm temperature I start to lose interest and have to heat it up again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

skip to my lou

**This post contains one item provided by an outside company for trial.

While applying makeup the other day I came to the realization that I skip quite a few steps that some may think are crucial to their routine. Why? Well for one thing, TIME. For my everyday look I am all about lessening the time it takes for me to slap on makeup so I can get out the door quick. For the other, I don't think actually carrying out these applications makes a huge difference to my overall look. They are small details or extras that I would do if I wanted to perfect my look but for everyday they feel unnecessary. What doesn't make the cut in my daily routine?


I'll start off with probably the most shocking for some, my brows. On a daily basis I do nothing with my brows. I am fortunate enough where the hair of my brows are thick and coarse enough to make their appearance known. Once in a blue moon I'll fill them in with a MAC 266 brush and a dark brown shadow, like the one in this Smashbox trio in Filter, to emphasize them (or to sneakily use up product).

I don't normally use any special setting powder for my under eye area, which some do to give some extra lasting power to their concealer or to brighten up the area. Swirl and go is my philosophy! But if I am feeling fancy I'll gently buff in *Besame Brightening Violet Powder underneath my eyes to set my concealer. I received this item as part of a Wantable box which I'm sure most of you have heard about from other bloggers by now (check out Makeup Magpie, Beauty Reductionista, and Perilously Pale to get an idea about the company). Basically it is one of those subscription box deals but they give you full sized products from brands that aren't mainstream which I find refreshing.

Back to the powder, it really is very good. Light texture, softly brightens skin, and doesn't have any weird scent. Plus, isn't the packaging all quaint and neat? I had never heard of the company before so I relied on my good friend Google to see what it was about. I think vintage makeup lovers would really dig it. They have cake mascara for crying out loud. How intriguing is that?!

Maybe I have just been using lackluster products for this but I just do not bother with this step on a daily basis. I appreciate it when I am going out or for special occasions but I think overall the effect is so subtle that I don't miss it when I skip out on it. When I do make the effort I usually use something like Bare Minerals Nude Beach for taupe looks and the more universal Urban Decay Virgin for neutral looks.

I flip flop on this depending on my mood. I would say most of the time I do not fully line my top eyelids. Instead I start my liner of choice, L'Oreal Lineur Intense normally, in the middle of my lid and wing it out to the outer end. Not only does it save time, but it makes my peepers look more open and awake. Don't get me wrong, I love the full on Egyptian eyes but for everyday the half-way application is my go to for a natural look.

LEFT SIDE has all the mentioned products applied; RIGHT SIDE is my "daily" look

Can you tell the difference? The left side I filled in my brows, fully lined my lid, added brow and inner corner highlight, and buffed in brightening powder under my eyes. The right side you can see my brow is subtly less filled, my under eye area is a little less bright as are my brow bone and inner eye, and my eyes seem a bit more open. It is subtle but if you look at the details you can spot it!

For my daily look, I don't mind skipping some extra steps. It may not perfect my overall look but I don't mind. I just want to look semi put together before leaving the house. Do you cut out any steps in your routine? I have read some people skip out on blush and that horrifies/baffles the blush fiend in me, but to each their own...

If you were curious:

Face: THIS MIX for my base, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Revlon Photo Ready Concealer, Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder, Stila Bronzer #2, MAC Hush CCB, blush will be mentioned in an upcoming post

Eyes: Burberry Pale Barley, Smashbox Filter trio, L'Oreal Lineur Intense, Giorgio Armani waterproof liner, L'Oreal Voluminous

Lips: NARS Dolce Vita lipstick

++ Wantable sent the Besame Brightening Powder to me free as part of their subscription box. This post does NOT have any affiliate links.