31 March 2017

29 March 2017

Annabelle Expandable Mascara Review | An Adjustable Mascara Wand?!


I've always been a fan of Annabelle mascara. The 'Le Big Show' Mascara is a favourite of mine but I haven't used it in a long time as I wanted to venture out into trying other mascaras.

When I saw this mascara at the store, I was intrigued. It has a brush that you adjust so the bristles are wider apart or close together! I usually hate when bristles are too far apart because it sometimes makes it look like I have 5 thick eyelashes if i'm not careful with my application technique.

I wanted to put this mascara to the test. The claim is that if you retract the bristles (making the space between them smaller), you get more length and definition. If you expand the wand (making the space between the bristles closer together), you get maximum volume. You turn a little 'thing' at the top to adjust the bristles. It's so cool watching how it works. It's like an accordion.


It's not much of a surprise though, that this is simply a marketing gimmick. Don't get me wrong, it's so cool but I didn't notice much of a difference between using the bristles when they were as close together as possible, or as far apart as possible. Actually, to my surprise, I liked when the bristles were further apart because it felt easier to coat the lashes. But as for their claims, I didn't experience them.

'Gimmick' aside, it's fun to use this brush and I really like the formula. It's a dryer formula which I love but it doesn't flake through the day at all. I have very short and straight eyelashes and I notice that this mascara doesn't hold them up the best but it's the best that i've seen for my eyelashes. There's only so much a mascara can do for me. The brush width is fine, but it could stand to be slimmer.

Let's take a look at how everything looks and wears below.

Bristles Closest Together


Bare Lashes

1 Coat Applied

2 Coats Applied

Bristles Farthest Apart


Bare Lashes

1 Coat Applied

2 Coats Applied
Comparison


7 Hours Later

 Two coats are applied to each side. The left is the bristles furthest apart and the right is applied with the bristles closest together. Pretty much the same. I like the left side better. In 7 hours,by eyelashes have fallen a little but there is no smudging or flaking at all!
______________

Do I recommend this mascara? Yes I do. It's usually one of the pricier mascara's from Annabelle, I assume for the cool 'gimmick', but it's still a really good mascara. It's cruelty free of course. It contains parabens which I say - good. I want my mascara to have parabens in it. You can find this mascara in Canadian drugstores and on the Annabelle website for $10.95 regular. Keep you eye open for sales!

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27 March 2017

Batiste Dry Shampoo Plus, Beautiful Brunette Review & Is Batiste Cruelty Free?

I've tried a few dry shampoo's and usually I end up disliking them because I hate the perfume-type fragrance added or the nozzle clogs making the products unusable. I resorted to making my own tinted dry shampoo. It's pretty good too.

When I was given the opportunity to dry a Batiste dry shampoo - and a tinted one at that, I was excited. Batiste is probably the leading dry shampoo brand currently and I was under the impression they were cruelty free. This was before I made a commitment to cruelty free beauty. Others seem to really like their products so I was eager to try find out if I was missing out.

I found this product did work but I didn't like it. My hair did look less oily and there was no white cast which was nice. I have super dark hair so their 'beautiful brunette' shade was a little light but they have a 'Dark & Deep Brown' version would have suited me best.

The fragrance and scent was really unpleasant to me though. I get headaches from hairsprays and this almost gave me a headache. It smells dusty and fragranced. I don't enjoy walking about with a dusty, strong smelling head. Also, my head feels a little bit itchy... could it be the alcohol denat? I don't know...
Batiste Dry Shampoo Plus, Beautiful Brunette 

My DIY Dry Shampoo

I was under the impression Batiste was cruelty free as the like to boast, but they don't seem to be after all. Batiste claims to not test on animals on their packaging, but it seems that they sell their products in China - therefore making them not cruelty free. If you don't know, products sold in China are required to be tested on animals. So if you're concerned if they are truly cruelty free, keep this is mind. It's shady that they try to mislead people.


Would I recommend this product? Unfortunately, no. It was too unpleasant to use because of the scent. Also, I don't like that they sell in China, so I won't buy from them. I think i'll try the Cake Beauty dry shampoo next. I have a good feeling about them. For now, i'm sticking to my diy dry shampoo.

*Recieved for free from Chickadvisor

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Essence The Glow Must Go On Palette Review & Swatches | $10 DUPE FOR ABH MASTER PALETTE BY MARIO


I didn't intend to make this comparative review, but I can't not point out that this palette has some amazing ABH Master Palette by Mario eyeshadow dupes. If you wanted to get that limited edition palette and missed out, you can definitely find some solid dupes in this palette if you can find it.

essence the glow must go on palette abh anastastia beverly hills master palette by mario dupe

The Glow Must Go On Palette was released in the spring of 2016 and retails for about $10 CAD. It's harder to find this palette because I believe it's limited edition as well but it was available on the US essence website and I think it's in some Canadian drugstores.

Lightest Bronzer shade-Marina,   Medium Bronzer- Kim,   Darkest Bronzer-Muse,   Sandalwood-Violeta

The bronzing shades are formula-wise, very similar to their Master Palette Dupes. The eyeshadows might be similar colours, but I find they are not similar in formula to the master palette. They're more dry and the pigment blends away. The shade cinnamon is a complete fail and the shade sandalwood is okay but the everything else was a complete win. I can barely tell a difference on my arm between the dupes found in the bronzer shades.

Essence                       ABH    
  
Comparison
SandalwoodVioletaBoth super pigmented but Sandlewood blends away too easily. Sandlewood is darker and more purple in undertone than Violeta.
Honey Glow Highlighter5th AvenueOnly similarity is the gold undertone. Otherwise not that similar.
CinnamonIsabelleOnly similarity is orange undertone. Cinnamon is that pigmented and is dry and chalky. Isabel is darker and far more pigmented
Lightest BronzerMarinaNear complete dupe. Marina is more foiled and less orange than compared shade.
Middle BronzerKimNear compete dupe. Kim is less shiny and more orange than compared shade, which is more shiny and more gold. Beautiful.
Darkest BronzerMuseNot that similar in colour.  Muse is a rose gold and the compared shade is more copper than rose in undertones. Both same sheen level though.

Natural Lighting: Sandalwood,Honey Glow Highlighter, Cinnamon Eyeshadow, Darkest Bronzer Shade, Middle Bronzer Shade, Lightest Bronzer Shade, Bronzer Mixed Together. 
Flash: Sandalwood,Honey Glow Highlighter, Cinnamon Eyeshadow, Darkest Bronzer Shade, Middle Bronzer Shade, Lightest Bronzer Shade, Bronzer Mixed Together. 
Natural Light: Top Row Is Essence: Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Lightest Bronzer, Middle Bronzer, Darkest Bronzer, Honey Glow Highlighter
Bottom Row Is ABH Master Palette: Violeta, Isabelle, Marina, Kim, Muse, 5th Avenue
Flash Photography: Top Row Is Essence: Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Lightest Bronzer, Middle Bronzer, Darkest Bronzer, Honey Glow Highlighter
Bottom Row Is ABH Master Palette: Violeta, Isabelle, Marina, Kim, Muse, 5th Avenue


Ignore the cracked mirror - it has nothing to do with me or essence.

I'm overall really impressed with this palette. My recommendation is to buy this palette for the highlighter and bronzer because they're great. You saw the swatches - stunning. You can completely create some exact looks that you can create using the Master Palette by Mario.

*Press sample provided for review.

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22 March 2017

New Essence Releases | 1 Brand Tutorial | Chatty First Impressions (23 Products)


*Press sample provided for review.

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18 March 2017

Cruelty Free Cosmetic Brands List 2017 Edition


100% Pure
Afterglow Cosmetics 
Alima Pure
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Annabelle
Arbonne
Ardency Inn
Artdeco
Au Naturale
Axiology
Bare Minerals*
Barry M
Beautycounter
Becca
Bella Pierre
Ben Nye
Besame
BH Cosmetics
Bite Beauty
Blinc
Bodyography
Boho Green Makeup
Bonne Bell
Buxom*
By Terry
Cailyn Cosmetics
Cargo
Catrice
Chante Caille
Charlotte Tilbury
Coastal Classic Creations
Coastal Scents
Colorisi
Coloured Raine
Colourpop
Concrete Minerals
Cover Fx
Dose Of Colours
Duwop
E L F

Ecco Bella
Elate
Ellis Faas
Em Cosmetics*
Essence
Everyday Minerals
Eyeko
Face Atelier
Fairy Girl
Fior Minerals
Fitglow Beauty 
Flower
Gabriel Cosmetics
Girlactik
Glo Minerals
Glossier
Gosh
Gud
Hard Candy
Hourglass
Ilia
Illamasqua
Iman Cosmetics
Indie Lee
Inglot 
Inika Organic
It Cosmetics
Jane
Jane Iredale
Jeffery Star
Jesse's Girl
Jordana
Josie Maran
Jouer
Juice Beauty
Karity
Kat Von D
Kett Cosmetics
Kevyn Aucoin
Kiko

Kjaer Weis
Koh Gen Doh
Korres 
Kryolan
Kylie Cosmetics
Kyolan
LA Colours
LA Girl
LA Splash
Lily Lolo
Limecrime
Lipstick Queen
Lise Watier
Lit Cosmetics
Lucy Minerals
LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs
Lush
Maison Jacynthe 
Makeup Academy
Makeup Geek
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Marcelle
Mehron
Melt Cosmetics
Milani
Milk Makeup
Mineral Fusion
Mud
Nars*
Natasha Denona
Nevermind Cosmetics
Nudestix
NYX*
OCC
Ofra Cosmetics
Pacifica
Palladio 
Paula's Choice
Per-fekt
Physicans Formula


Pixi by Petra
Prestige
Pur Minerals
Pure Anada
RCMA
Red Apple Lipstick
Rituel de Fille
RMS Beauty
Rodial
Rouge Bunny Rouge
Saint Cosmetics
Sappho
Saucebox Cosmetics
Silk Naturals
Skindinavia 
Smashbox
Soap & Glory
Sonia Kashuk
Stellar
Stila 
Sugarpill
Suva
Tarte*
theBalm
The Body Shop*
Too Faced
Trust Fund Beauty
Ulta
Urban Decay*
Vapour Beauty
Vasanti
W3ll People
Wander Beauty
Wet n Wild
Wunder2
Wunderbrow
Youngblood
Zoeva
Zuii Organic


*Parent company not cruelty free



Some popular recommendations:

Anastasia Beverly Hills
Bite Beauty
Buxom
Charlotte Tillbury
Colourpop
Cover FX
Dose of Colours
ELF
Essence
Hourglass
Inglot
Josie Maran

Jouer
Kat Von D
Kevyn Aucoin
Kiko
Lit Cosmetics
Makeup Geek
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Mehron
Melt Cosmetics
Milani
Nars
Natasha Denona
NYX
OCC
RCMA
Saucebox Cosmetics
Skindinavia
Sonia Kashuk
Stellar
Stila
Sugar Pill
Tarte
theBalm
Too Faced
Urban Decay
Wet n Wild


Some companies are not yet added that claim to be cruelty free. I'd like to double check some companies before adding (ex, teeez). If a company is missing or you notice there is a mistake in the list, please mention it! Note: Cosmetic tool brands are not added. Neither all nail polish companies.

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17 March 2017

Essence Matt Matt Matt Lipsticks Review & Swatch | New at the Drugstore 2017

In the past, i've enjoyed Essence lipsticks for their creamy texture and affordable price. My favourite nude lipstick ever was the now discontinued 15, Oh So Matt! lipstick. It was a super creamy, pigmented nude. It suited me like no other nude lip.

This new lipstick release has really impressed me. The 3 shades i've tried are incredibly pigmented and comfortable on the lips. The first swipe will be lacking in pigment but after you work the lipstick, they are pigmented and don't require much pressure to get total opaque coverage. The matte texture is gorgeous. If you blot, you can achieve the look and feel of a matte liquid lipstick. I have one complaint and it's the complaint everyone has. The strong fragrance added is of plastic and sweet 'artificial fruit'. I think it's the ingredient that makes my lips tingle. If essence removed the fragrance, these lipsticks would go from a 4 out of 5 to a 5 out of 5 for me.

04 Pink Up Your Life
06 Kiss Me If You Can
08 It's a Statement
There are 8 shades available that retail for $3.99 US or $4.49 CAD. They are paraben free and cruelty free. You can find them at Shoppers Drugmart, Real Canadian Superstore, Essencemakeup.com, ulta.com and many other stores in Europe and America.

*Press sample provided for review.


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16 March 2017

Stellar Cosmetics Review

Stellar is a Canadian brand that just launched at Sephora Canada. The brand was created by Monica Deol, a television host, actress and model who's had her fair share of getting her makeup done (or doing it herself). Being of Indian descent, she noticed a lack of makeup targeted towards Hispanic, Latino, Afro-American, Aboriginal, Chinese, Filipino, Middle-Eastern and Indian skintones. Thus Stellar was born, a brand specially targeted to medium skintones.
"I was constantly running into challenged with my makeup, whether it was concealers that don't conceal dark circles, foundations that have to be mixed to match, and powders that are too ashy" - Monica Deol
Being half Italian (with drop of Mongolian), I have an olive undertone so can relate to the struggle of finding foundations and concealers that match my skintone. I'm really excited about this brand and look forward to testing out the foundations and concealers. I've tried a lipstick and blush and could sense the thought put into the undertones and formula.

SUPER SONIC 01 LIPSTICK
3.3 g - $26 C


This is not just your average red lipstick - it's special. This red is such a true red. It's not super cool-leaning in undertone like my other red lipsticks are. When I applied it for the first time, it was so hydrating yet pigmented in one swipe. It glides on really easily. If I was doing a 'blind test', I would have thought it was a really high end lipstick. It just feels luxurious. The packaging it pretty cool too. It's square and has that rubbery coating on it so it don't slide all over the place or get scratched up. If you're looking for a luxurious red lipstick, this is a great choice. It's universally flattering.



BEAM BLUSH
1.7 g - $30 C 


I was worried I wouldn't like this blush or it wouldn't live up to my high expectations - i'm always a little skeptical of new products. All my doubts were proven wrong once I tried it. This blush turns into a fine powder that can easily be applied to give a sheer or intense coverage. It morphs so beautifully into skin. I actually used the brush it comes with to apply it and it did a patchy job (it would be great for contouring though). I took an actual blush brush to blend away the mess I made and it blended out seamlessly without the pigmentation vanishing. The fine shimmer you see in the pan doesn't show up like that on skin. All I see is a slightly glowy finish. It's a wearable, pretty pink. It's really nice.


Stellar has launched 22 foundations (17 of which cater to medium skin tones), 6 concealers. 4 loose powders, 3 blush, 19 lipsticks and a mascara. You can find the line at select Sephora stores and on the Sephora website. The Eaton Center Sephora location carries it. Everything is made in Canada, cruelty free, paraben free, sulfate free, fragrance free and vegan. Can you believe that! What a strong start for a new company. I'm actually so happy that their's a cosmetic brand like this sold at Sephora.

*Press sample provided for review.

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15 March 2017

NIP + FAB | FIXES | No Needle Fix Moisturizer & Eye Review


Nip and Fab has released two new products, a moisturizer and an eye cream. I was particularly excited about their No Needle Fix Moisturiser simply because of the simple packaging. Somehow I thought it would be a simple product. I ended up not liking it. The No Needle Fix Eye however, is something I did like.

NO NEEDLE FIX MOISTURIZER
40 mL- $19.95 US - $24.95 C


Osilift R Bio: Smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles with an immediate effect
Hysilk: Hydrates, nourishes, smoothes and softens skin. Provides silk-like texture
Biophiclic tm S: This natural oil found in water systems nourishes skin while acting as a 'second skin' restoring and protecting skins barrier
As I inspected the beautiful packaging of this moisturiser, I noticed a few things that concerned me. There were a lot of ingredients I hadn't heard of, fragrance was added and there was a sticker on the back that read 'Caution: Contains Benzophenone-3'. As this was sent to me, I of course felt I still needed to try it to give it a fair shot. I applied a lot of it all over my face. The scent was overwhelming - sort of like sunscreen and something else that was unpleasant. The cream felt fine but the smell was so overwhelming that I had to wash it off right away.


So what is Benzophenone-3, the fourth most concentrated ingredient in this moisturizer? It's a sunscreen-type ingredient that scored an 8 on www.ewg.org. If you clicked the link, you'll see there are a few concerns with that ingredient. Unfortunately, this just isn't a product i'd recommend from Nip + Fab.

NO NEEDLE FIX EYE
15mL - $14.95 US - $19.95 C


This powerful 3-in-1 formula eye cream works to reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and expression lines around the eye area. Ideal for those looking to achieve brighter, younger-looking eyes.
 Red Algae: Helps reduce appearance of dark circles

Tetra Peptide-5: Reduces under-eye puffiness  
I do like this eye cream. There are no ingredients that really concern me. Like always, it contains a bit of fragrance - which is something I don't like in skincare or products that go near my eyes - but it was very subtle. This is product is intended to make your undereye skin look younger. The product comes out as a thick gel. It definitely has a cooling sensation under my eyes until it dries. It also makes the skin feel tighter but not dry. It leaves a slight tack. I think if you have fine lines, this could make them look slightly less apparent temporarily. As for overtime, I can't say how it works on fine lines.

Nip and Fab  is cruelty free. These products are paraben free. They can be found on their website, Ulta.com and in store at Shoppers Drugmart as well as other stores across Europe and America.

*Press sample provided for review.

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13 March 2017

Vichy Purete Thermale Line Review (Not Cruelty Free)


I've never tried Vichy skincare so was very eager to after seeing the products in store and on social media. For this review, i'm going to have a guest give their opinion as well - my mom. She was really curious about the products too so I figured why not hear her thoughts as well. As a reference, she's over 50 and has oily skin and i'm in my early twenties and have normal to dry skin.

FRESH CLEANSING GEL
$18.95 C - 200 mL

I like this cleanser. but I don't love it. It cleans my face very effectively. That being said, it's still too drying for my skin so I can't leave it on too long. I need to rinse it off immediately or else my skin will feel tight. This cleanser's lather-inducing ingredients create huge bubbles. Very foamy or bubbly cleansers strip skin oil very effectively so this cleanser would be ideal for oily skinned people. There is a slight scent to it which is something I usually never care for. It's pretty mild so I won't let it affect my opinion on the cleanser but I wish it wasn't added. My mom likes this cleanser because she feels it really cleans her oily skin well and leaves it feeling smooth and not overly dry.

SKIN RENEWING CREAM SCRUB
$19.95 C - 75 mL

This is a creamy scrub that will give you very mild exfoliation. I noticed there are a lot of basic moisturizing ingredients added that were a little underwhelming but it did moisturize, soften and stimulate my skin so I like to use it. There are some larger hard scrubbing beads in it that I feel really stimulate my skin without irritating it. I like the feel of them but my mom thinks there are not enough scrubbing beads. She wants more 'scrubbage' power. I agree that it would be ideal if the beads were smaller and there were more of them. This is probably a product most people could do without in their skincare regime but is a nice extra step.

MAKEUP REMOVER - SENSITIVE
$19.95 C - 150 mL

Unfortunately, both my mom and myself didn't like this eye makeup remover one bit. It's so gentle that it barely dissolves eye makeup which means you really have to tug and rub your delicate eyes. It's not even worth the work. We both agree that this would only take off cheap, non-waterproof makeup or eye shadow applied to an unprimed eye. Our other complaint is the artificial fragrance added. I really don't understand why they would add a fragrance to an eye makeup remover. It's just overkill.

Vichy can be found at Shoppers Drugmart and on their website.


*Press sample provided for review.


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12 March 2017

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Review | Best Undereye Concealer


I've been on a constant search for a nearly perfect undereye concealer and I have found it. I asked some fellow Canadian beauty bloggers what concealer they recommend that didn't need to be set with a powder and I was consistently recommended the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer. I went ahead and bought it was so satisfied with it's delivery. This concealer is fragrance free, alcohol free, paraben free and cruelty free. It can be found at Sephora for $37 CAD and $30 US and of course the Nars website.

CLAIMS THAT WERE MET
  • Gives a natural looking coverage (very skin-like!)
  • Provides medium-to-full coverage (if you layer it)
  • Evens complexion so that skin appears fresh and natural with a radiant finish (A mild sheen)
  • It goes on smoothly, blends easily, and stays in place all day (yes, yes and yes)
  • Non-comodeogenic (I've had no acne flare ups)
  • Crease proof (I've had no creasing)

WEAR ON UNDEREYES


For those of you that can't test this product out, i'll try to explain the way it sits on my under-eye. It's not the fullest coverage concealer i've used, but it's the best looking. This concealer layers over milia amazingly. It seems to not sink into the spaces between my lil eye bumps but rather evenly coats them. Nothing looks worse on super fine milia than a drying concealer or a concealer that sinks between those bumps. This concealer has a super natural finish. It's not dewy or matte but has a slight skin-like sheen so it looks great on undereyes. That being said, it definitely dries in a way that micro lines are more apparent than if you wore no concealer- but that's me being really fussy. If you have an eye bag, you know that sheen makes it more apparent so you usually have to set it. I actually don't set this, because I don't have to. It's really not that intense of a sheen and it does become more matte in time. I've had no creasing at all. The wear time is great. I'm very happy with it as an under-eye concealer.

WEAR AS EYE PRIMER



This concealer will make an amazing eye primer as long as you set it. It's perfect in it's ability to even out eyelid discoloration.

WEAR ON FACE



I highlight with the shade vanilla because my foundation is usually too dark. I layer it on top of my foundation. It blends well and looks really good. I also find this concealer looks pretty damn good on dry patches and acne. I often need two coats to really cover a pimple. There is absolutely no photo editing on the above before and after picture. It really looks that good.

THE SHADE VANILLA

Vanilla is muted down in undertone. It's not too pink and not too yellow. I have pale olive skin (MAC NC15/20 or MUFE 117) and find Vanilla matches my skin well initially. Like most concealers, when the product is still wet on the skin, it will look lighter than it will when it dries. This concealer will oxidise a deeper and more pink colouur. It's so important to test your concealer in store on your neck and see how it will look in 10 minutes. Vanilla still works for me, but i'm going to choose their lightest shade next time.

Dried > Fresh swatch

L>R. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer dried, then freshly swatched. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer dried and then freshly swatched next to it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

So yes, I love this concealer. It has a super natural looking finish and sits well on skin. Out of all the concealers I tested during my Sephora visit, this one looked the best on my undereye so I was willing to spend more money. If you compare it's price per gram to other similar concealers sold in Sephora, it's one of the more expensive ones but I think it's worth it. Please though- don't buy the travel size as it's a huge rip off. I'm going to try to find a true drugstore dupe, but I think i'll be *pleasantly* surprised if I do.



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