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.

May Empties

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I have been making a real effort to finish up a lot of my minis over the last few months, and I think I did well in that aspect. I tend to enjoy switching up products on a day-to-day basis, so I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished this month.

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Of the three eye creams that I used up this month, the Clinique All About Eyes is my favourite. This is actually a repurchase; I have probably finished 3 or 4 of these over the years. I think it’s a great, light moisturizing cream that works well for day and night use, and it’s the one I default to when I don’t want to try a new product.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye is a sample size that I got in a gift with purchase. The consistency is almost like an ointment, but without the greasy feel to it. I liked it, but the gripe I have with it is the price. I know that it’s meant to be an anti-aging product, but I didn’t see any difference in my eye area while using it, so I don’t think I would dish out the $74 CDN to repurchase it.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate Serum was more of a spontaneous purchase when I was putting in an order, and I probably won’t repurchase it. The rollerball felt great on the eyes, and the actual formulation felt more like a gel compared to a normal serum. It didn’t, however, have any visible effects on my eye area, and I didn’t feel like it was moisturizing enough for my liking. Also, there were little specks of glimmer in the product that I didn’t care for.

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The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair was another product that came in that gift with purchase. It was such a hyped up product that I expected a visible difference while using it, but again, it failed to deliver. I know that anti-aging products are meant for long term benefits, but I think this product is targeted towards an older skin type, and I don’t feel that I need this product right now in my skincare regimen.

The Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is one of my favourite Clinique products. I have gone through multiple samples of it, and I find that even though its intended use is for overnight, it works great during the day as well, underneath my makeup (see my previous post on the Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream). I probably will purchase the full size at some point, once I’ve whittled down some of current stash.

The Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb is a product that my friend recommended to me. She considers this her holy grail, and sent me a sample of it, along with the Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. It was indeed very moisturizing, but I couldn’t stand the herbal smell, so it’s a pass for me.

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The Equate Oil-Free Facial Cleansing Wipes are meant to be a dupe for the Clean & Clear ones. I haven’t tried the Clean & Clear ones, but the Equate ones did a good job at removing the makeup from my skin at the end of the day. I still had to go in with a waterproof eye makeup remover, but this worked as a good first cleanse. It did leave my skin red and a little irritated afterwards though, so I may or may not repurchase.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel is actually a pretty enjoyable cleanser to use. It’s a soap-free facial cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin, and it’s meant to be for people who are oily and acne-prone, so it’s right up my alley. I might purchase this in the future.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam was again, part of the gift with purchase. It was not memorable; I didn’t like or dislike it, it was just a product that was there to be used up. It was actually used up quite quickly though, and it did foam pretty well as per its name.

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The Avene Thermal Spring Water was something I received as a sample for purchasing a different item. It feels really nice and cool coming out of the can. I enjoyed using it after I had cleansed my face at night, before applying my night time skincare. It was nice to have, but not something I would go out and purchase for myself.

The Dove Clinical Protection deodorant worked well as an antiperspirant, but I feel like I finished it really quickly compared to most others. I probably will repurchase this though, especially with the upcoming summer heat.

The Sephora Mini Blush Cleanser was my first venture into using solid soap cleansers for my brushes. It definitely made cleaning my brushes a lot easier compared to use liquid soaps, especially with the mat to work the makeup out of the brush head. I have already repurchased this in the full size.

The classic Beauty Blender was something that I hesitated over buying for the longest time. However, it is definitely worth the hype! The texture is so much softer than the Quo ones that I have been using, and now that it’s time to toss this and I’ve gone back to a Quo one, I can definitely notice the difference. I will be repurchasing this ASAP.

The Essence Waterproof Eyeliner Pen is not technically dried up, but the tip on this is so horrible that I can never get a clean line with it. I’ve just given up on it, won’t be repurchasing.

Well that’s a wrap! I am pretty proud of myself this month. Gotta keep working on my stash!

Review: Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream

IMG_7557I recently ran out of my Revlon Colorstay foundation and when I went to repurchase it, they didn’t have my shade in stock, so I decided to pick up the Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream in 510 Fair instead. A lot of people with oily skin seemed to speak highly of it, and I wanted a lighter base for the upcoming summer, so this product came home with me.

The Covergirl website claims that this product is oil-free that ‘provides the perfect amount of coverage to even skin tone, hide blemishes, won’t clog pores and keeps you shine-free all day long’. The shade fair turned out to be a perfect shade match for my current skin tone. I initially tried applying it with a beauty blender, but I found that it just soaked up all the product without providing much coverage. I then tried using clean hands to apply it directly to my face, and that seemed to build up the coverage to a solid medium. On lighter makeup days, I can get away with just building up layers with this product alone, but for most days I dab a bit of concealer under the eyes and on my chin and nose areas to hide the excess redness peeking through.

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The BB cream is definitely has a light consistency on the skin compared to many of my foundations. The first two times I applied it, I felt that although it was very dry and draggy going on, my skin became shiny with oil after only 3-4 hours of wear time, which I thought was very strange for something that advertises the word ‘matte’ in its product name. I then took this with me when I went away for the weekend and used a different moisturizer underneath, the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, and my opinion of the product did a 180. It went on much more smoothly with less drag, provided more even coverage, and when set with a good setting powder, lasted about 10 hours on my skin. It also sat well over sunscreen, which is a definite must for the summer.

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I was honestly amazed by the change that one product underneath could make. One of the days I was trialing it was spent walking around in a  hot, crowded room, while nursing a head cold and blowing my nose every 20 minutes or so. The BB cream did an excellent job at keeping my face relatively matte everywhere other than around my nose, where I had wiped off most of it with my continuous use of tissue.

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Above is a blended out swatch of the Clean Matte BB cream on the top, compared to the Holika Holika Shimmering Petit BB Cream. As you can see, the Covergirl BB cream dries down to a matte finish, compared to the dewy finish of a more traditional Korean BB cream.

To sum up my experience with this product so far, I think it’s a great product for the summer as long as you moisturizer very well first. The only downside is that the colour range isn’t great, so if you are more fair than I am, you might be out of luck.

Review: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Blush in Nude Glow

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When I saw the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Blush in Nude Glow, the thought that crossed my mind was, could this be a dupe for Nars Orgasm? The colour looked really similar at first glance, and I had heard a lot about the Physicians Formula butter bronzers and blushes so I figured I would purchase t and give it a go.

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The blush comes in a clear compact which flips up to reveal an applicator and a mirror. The applicator is made of foam, and honestly does a terrible job at applying the blush. Their Sexy Booster Blush from way back came with a much nicer brush that I actually used when I first started getting into makeup, so in comparison this was a flop.

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The shade Nude Glow is a beautiful pink with golden shimmers, but at first swatch it is pretty sheer. However, it does build up to a nice glow on the cheeks after a few layers. It lasts about six hours on the face before it starts to fade, and it eliminates the need for highlighter when you’re going for a more natural look.

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Here are some swatches comparing Nars Orgasm, Benefit Bella Bamba, and the Physicians Formula Blush. The Physicians Formula one comes out more sheer compared to the other two as a single swatch, but has a similar look on the cheeks after a few layers.

Would I recommend it? I usually like a little more pigment in my blushes, which Nars Orgasm has in boatloads, and I usually don’t have time to build up blush when I am putting myself together in the morning, so I don’t find myself reaching for this one all that often. I think it would be a good option for someone who is just starting off with makeup, as it’s pretty hard to overdo it. If you’re looking for a cheap dupe for Nars Orgasm, I would say you can get a pretty similar look from this shade. Warning though, it does have a heavy scent, so if you’re sensitive to smell, it’s probably one you’ll want to pass on.