Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 5

Today’s post is a short one – a few different cleansing wipes and some blotting sheets to review. I know that makeup wipes are not the greatest for your skin, but at the end of a long day, sometimes it’s just the quickest way to get to bed without compromising cleansing my skin, so I make the exception on days when I have to get to work early and I need to be in bed ASAP.

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First up, the Equate Facial Cleansing Wipes. These are the Walmart knock-off of the Neutrogena wipes, and I found them quite irritating to the skin. Would not repurchase.

The Life Brand 3-in-1 Facial Cleansing Wipes were not bad. They did a good job at removing my makeup without leaving my face super red, but they didn’t wow me. I would repurchase in a pinch.

The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes were pretty good. Of the three I’ve used recently, this was my favourite. I would repurchase this next time I go travelling, as I am trying not to use them when I am at home.

Last but not least, Watson’s Facial Absorbent Paper. I bought a two-pack of these when I was in Taiwan a few years ago, and I am still using it up. It did a solid job in getting rid of my oil. Would repurchase if I ever go back to Taiwan.

That’s it for my short post today! See you tomorrow for more!

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Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 4

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Welcome back for another round! Today’s post is a series of random empties that didn’t quite fit the trends of the first three posts.

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First up, hair products! The Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Oil Elixir was actually sent to me from one of the product testing companies a few years back. I actually loved this product, it was light enough that it didn’t weigh my oily hair down, but gave it a nice shiny finish. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it again in the drugstores, but if I did ever run across it again I would stock up. You don’t need much, so this bottle lasted me about two years.

Batiste Dry Shampoo is a holy grail – nothing more needs to be said. The darker ones are my preference since I don’t have to work it in too much, and it actually lightens my hair colour a bit and gives it dimension. I have about 5 backups right now.

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The Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover is an easy way to get rid of your waterproof mascara. I would just plop the cotton pad on my eye for about 10 seconds and then wipe gently, and the mascara would come off effortlessly. I would repurchase this, except that I am trying a Vichy one right now that’s a little cheaper and seems to be working quite well, so that may be come my new go-to makeup remover.

The Body Shop All-in-One Concealer Stick in 02 is something I bought and rarely used. It’s so drying on the skin, and I have very oily skin so that’s saying something. There’s supposed to be a moisturizing part that runs through the middle of the concealer tube, but mine was never moisturizing. It also fell out of the tube at some point, so the picture you see above has it stuck back inside the tube. Huge miss on this one for me.

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That’s all for today, folks! See you tomorrow!

Twelve Days of Empties: DAY 3

Welcome back to day 3 of the Twelve Days of Empties! Today we’ll be looking at base products for the face:

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The first product is The Ordinary’s HIgh Spreadability Fluid Primer. I have mixed feelings about this primer; it feels amazing going on the skin, but I don’t think it prolonged the wear of my foundation, and it also ran out really quickly. I bought it in June and was finished by the end of August, despite it having the 30 mL like most other primers. The typical 30 mL primer would usually last almost a year for me, so I don’t know what happened there. My friend said the same for hers, so it’s not just me. That being said, I would consider repurchasing it because it did feel great every time I applied it.

The next two are not actually empties, but tosses. The L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Foundation was given to me, and I think I have only used it a handful of times because it was too dark for my skin tone. I am tossing it because I have had it for way too long, and I don’t think they even make this anymore. I think they may have replaced it with the Infallible Pro Matte and Pro Glow foundations, which I am totally ok with. It was a mediocre foundation at best, whereas the Pro Matte would totally be a drugstore holy grail, if only they had a shade that matches me.

The Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Buttercream is totally a “YouTube Made Me Buy It” product. I bought it after Estee Lalonde raved about it, and this was before I figured out that Sephora takes returns, because if I had known, it probably would have gone right back to the store. It is terrible; the texture was off putting, the coverage was very light, and the worst part of it was the smell. It had some weird chemically smell every time I used it, and it didn’t fade as you wore it. I had to wear so much concealer with it that it basically wasn’t worth the effort, and I could never get over the smell. I hung on to it in hopes that I would change my mind over it, but it never happened.

The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer was another product that a lot of YouTubers raved about, so when I got a deluxe sample with my Sephora order, I was excited to try it. It actually feels pretty good on the skin, not too heavy but provides a good amount of coverage. It did oxidize a little on my skin if I remember correctly, so that’s definitely something to take into consideration when picking a shade. I enjoyed using it while it lasted, but I don’t know that I would repurchase it just because there are other similar products that I enjoyed more.

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Above: L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Foundation, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Buttercream, and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand.

That’s it for today! See you tomorrow for more empties!

Review: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Light Bronze

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This is another YouTube-inspired purchase – the drugstore bronzer that everyone is raving about. I picked this up in April after months of hearing good reviews about it, and it took me a while to really get around to trying it for the sole reason that people warn you about – the scent.

I knew going in that there was a strong scent associated with the product; every single YouTuber who reviewed it mentioned this, but it was described as a coconut scent, like that of a pina colata or a tropical sunscreen. Here’s my problem – to me, it doesn’t smell like any pina colata I have ever had, nor any sunscreen I have ever used. It’s a distinct, sharp smell that I don’t even know how to describe. It radiates from the product too; when I open my makeup drawer, I can immediately smell it. Maybe I am just sensitive to smells, but for, it’s a very in-your-face scent.

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Barring that, the product itself is great. It picks up easily on the brush and blends in like a dream. I picked up the shade light bronze, which is the newer of the two shades, but I think it suits my current skin tone quite well.

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The underside of the packaging has a mirror and a sponge applicator. I have tried using the applicator, but it doesn’t blend very well, so I prefer using a fluffy brush to blend it in.

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The above swatches are the butter bronzer in light bronze, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, and Tarte’s Park Ave Princess bronzer. As you can see, the butter bronzer is lighter and warmer compared to the other two bronzers. In fact, I think light bronze might be a closer match to Hoola Lite, but as I do not have Hoola Lite, I can’t say for certain.

All-in-all, I like the shade and the application of the Murumuru Butter Bronzer, and I am gradually get used to the scent of it. For those with sensitive noses, you may want to pass just based on the scent alone. Otherwise, a great option from the drugstore to get that summer bronze.

June Empties

Hello friends! I’ve had a busy few weeks, filled with birthdays (mine, my dad’s and my mom’s) and Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, but I have managed to use up a lot of products this month.

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Starting off with skincare, I finished the Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl, which I reviewed a few months back. It did help brighten my undereye circles, but was not hydrating enough for my liking.

I finished my second sample size of the Neostrata Acne Clear Clarifying Gel Cleanser, which contains 2% salicylic acid. I actually enjoyed using this cleanser in terms of the texture and feel of it, but I am currently using the corresponding 2% salicylic acid leave on treatment, I don’t really feel that a cleanser containing the same ingredient is necessary at this point.

The Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner was a product that I really wanted to try out when it first launched, so when it came out as a 100-point perk at Sephora, I snatched it up. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to its hype; it was an interesting consistency going on, but I don’t feel like it did anything for my pores or keeping my face matte.

This is my second sample of the Tarte Maracuja Oil, and I didn’t like it as much as I remembered. I had used this oil a few summers back and I remember it feeling great on my skin at night, but this time around I felt like it left my skin feeling greasy, with the oil sitting on top of my skin instead of absorbing into it.

The Olay Touch of Concealer Eye Regenerating Cream is a tinted eye cream. To be honest, I have had this sample for maybe 5+ years? I haven’t even used it in the last few years, so it’s more of a toss than an empty.

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I finished two micellar waters, a travel size of the Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water (for oily skin) and the Garnier Micellar Water. I did a comparison between the Garnier and Bioderma micellar waters a few posts back, and in a head to head comparison, the Bioderma won, but I’m not averse to repurchasing the Garnier option because of the price difference. I didn’t find much of a difference between the Sebium and the Sensibio versions of the Biodermas either; both worked great in cleansing my skin.

I picked up the Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Essence on a whim a while back, and I really liked it. I’m not sure what it really did for my skin, but it felt really good applied to the face, and worked great as a base under my sunscreen. I think this product was recently replaced by the Dior Hydra Life Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence, but I probably wouldn’t have repurchased it anyway, since that it didn’t work any miracles on my skin that I would have expected given the price tag.

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I also finished the Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, which I reviewed a few months ago. I felt like it did brighten my skin quite a bit, but the fact that it leaves a slight white cast and takes a few minutes to absorb into my skin throws me off from repurchasing it immediately. I have also picked up another niacinamide product that I have been testing, so I’m not in any rush to repurchase immediately.

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is very hydrating. I used it mostly on my legs, which were super dry during the winter months. It did a good job, but I didn’t like the fact that I had to dip my hands into the huge pot. I think I will purchase the lotion formulation instead, which comes in a pump bottle.

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The L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 339 Stone Crystal is actually a product I received in a grab bag. I have barely used it, but it’s getting tossed because 1) the colour makes my lips look dead, and 2) the texture of the product feels like sand on my lips. It is a light pink metallic shade that is terribly unflattering on my skin tone, and when applied on the lips, it feels very gritty. I have tried to make this work, but it is a lost cause. It also smells like old lipstick, which doesn’t make me want to purchase any other colours from this line.

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The Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in tbt was part of a set that I bought with the Tartelette Tease Palette and the Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara. I think I have used this product less than 5 times since I got it. The colour was very unflattering on my lips, and made my lips look dried out and cracked. I actually took this product out to swatch it to compare it to the one I got as part of my Sephora birthday gift this year, and found that it was dried out, which honestly is no loss for me.

The Benefit Roller Lash and the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascaras are supposed to be dupes for each other, and I did a comparison of the two here. I liked the Maybelline one better, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite drugstore mascara, and I probably won’t repurchase either.

The NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara is actually a repurchase. I received my first tube in an Ipsy bag and loved the effect on my lashes, mostly because of how wet the formulation is. This time around, I did still enjoy the formula, and as you can see in the picture below, it hasn’t dried out any. I have had this tube for too long though, but I will consider repurchasing this in the future again.

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The Essence SuperFine Waterproof Eyeliner was a terrible purchase. I have heard great things about the Essence eyeliners, but this particular one flopped hard. The whole selling point is the felt tip that’s supposed to draw a super fine line right? Well, that would be great if the product actually would get to the tip of the liner. The tip is super long, and the liquid would get stuck in the middle of the tip, so when you try to draw a line, nothing comes out. It was such a frustrating experience, and I don’t think I even go a single use out of this liner. Don’t waste your money on this, folks. Get the dip liner if you want to try an Essence eyeliner.

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Last but not least, I finished another box of the Shiseido Cotton Pads. These are the Japanese ones that I picked up during my trip, and they are 100% worth it. They go for $3-4 CDN in Japan, which is a lot cheaper than the $11 CDN that they sell for here. If you have a chance, stock up in Japan.

There we have it, folks. Another month of beauty trash. Hopefully the trend of working through my stash will continue, though I have picked up several new skincare products recently…

Talk to y’all soon!

Love, B

Review: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

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When my best friend mentioned that the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation was a dupe for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I was sold. I headed straight to my local Walmart to pick it up and while I was there, I also picked up the concealer and pressed powder from the same line to test out. The foundation retails for about $7 CDN, and comes in 20 shades, at least on the Wet n Wild website.

Wet n Wild is not the most accessible brand here in Canada. The only store that carries it near me is Walmart, and oftentimes their shelves are bare, so it took me two trips to get the right shade of foundation for me. I first tried Rose Ivory (light cool shade) but it ended up being too pink for me. I then exchanged it for Nude Ivory (light neutral shade), which was a much better match.

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The formulation is medium coverage that can be built up to full. It has a thin consistency and smells like paint to be honest, but luckily the smell doesn’t linger once applied to the face. The bottle comes with an applicator, which is a step up from a pour bottle, but I just use the applicator to transfer foundation to the back of my hand anyway. I use a beauty blender to apply it, as it was pretty streaky the one time I tried using a brush.

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The foundation claims to have a matte finish, and it definitely does settle matte on the skin. I find that I have to work quickly to blend it in before it starts to set, so I have to work with a small section at a time. I have oily skin, and usually matte foundations work out pretty well for me, but this particular one seems to actually make my skin look dry upon initial application when I use it with one of my mattifying setting powders. However, it looks great when used with the Photo Focus Pressed Powder, but starts to break up on my skin at the  3-hour mark. It’s a trade off that I have to consider every time I wear this foundation, so what I usually end up doing is using the Photo Focus Powder for days where I am only out and about for a couple of hours, and a mattifying powder like the Rimmel Stay Matte or the Essence Mattifying Compact Powder when I have to go to work.

My thoughts on the foundation? For me personally, it’s not worth the effort. It takes me longer to apply my foundation in the morning because I have to keep going back to the bottle instead of being able to just put a dab on the back of my hand since it dries so quickly. It doesn’t last on my nose either, which is admittedly a common problem that I have with most foundations, but it doesn’t even wear away gracefully. My nose is constantly looking patchy after even an hour’s wear, regardless of whether I wear a primer underneath or not. At the end of a longer day, more often than not my face looks like a hot mess, oily down the T-zone and dry on the sides of my face. It does have good coverage, but I find that it sinks into some of the fine lines that I’m starting to develop around my eyes.

I feel like I have given this foundation a good trial. I’ve tried changing up my sunscreen and moisturizer, tried it with and without primer, and with a few different powders, and I just can’t get it to work out for me. It’s disappointing because I have heard so many good reviews on it, and I honestly don’t remember seeing anyone not like it, so for me to struggle with it so much is discouraging. Also, upon speaking to my friend again, she admits that even though it goes on like the Luminous Silk Foundation, it doesn’t have the same lasting power as Luminous Silk, which I guess makes sense as you’re comparing a $7 foundation to a $66 foundation. For me though, this foundation was a flop.

Comparison: Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara vs Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

I am starting a new series where I compare a mid or high end product to a drugstore product. Today, I’ll be starting with a comparison between the Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara vs the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara.

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The Benefit Roller Lash was all over the web when it came out. It was marketed as the mascara to keep your lashes long and curled, and it was so hyped about that I almost jumped on the bandwagon right away. However, I was talking to a sale associate and she mentioned that the formula of Roller Lash was the same as the Benefit They’re Real Mascara, which flaked on me to no end, so I decided not to pick it up.

Fast forward two years later, I received a sample size of the Benefit Roller Lash in a mascara sampler kit that I bought over the holiday season, so I decided to give it a shot.

Roller Lash retails for $31 CAN, whereas you can pick up Lash Sensational for $6-7 or cheaper at the drugstore. The brushes are quite similar in shape, where one side is curved outwards, and the other side is curved inwards.

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Going on, both look pretty similar when first applied. They also both flake onto my undereye, which is a very common problem that I experience with the majority of mascaras. The Maybelline is a little less flaky, but I think that is in part due to the fact that it is a waterproof formulation, whereas Roller Lash is not.

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On the left is the Benefit’s Roller Lash, and on the right is Maybelline’s Lash Sensational. They look pretty similar, with Roller Lash giving slightly more volume.

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At the end of the day (after my gym workout), you can see the rings of darkness underneath my eyes, where the mascaras have flaked. The curl in my lashes have dropped on both sides (again, a common problem I have), but the Maybelline side (right) is slightly more curled than the Roller Lash side (left). Again, this may be due to the waterproof formula, as I seem to have more luck with those types of formulas.

Final verdict? I would say the Lash Sensational mascara gives a pretty similar effect to the Roller Lash mascara, except that it’s less flaky and holds a better curl than the high end option. I would definitely recommend it over the Benefit Roller Lash for someone like me, who has difficulty holding a curl and struggles with flakiness under the eyes.