Wow, has it been a long time since I have been able to do a beauty post. I think back in Spring I did one, but this is the first time since then that I have had the opportunity to tell you about some of my more recent beauty finds. This will at least be a three part series so, enjoy and let me know what you think of some the products. Have you tried any of them? What did you think?
1. IT Cosmetics – Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50 + (In Fair) – (www.sephora.ca) – $49.00 CAN
My wear all the time foundation for the last couple of years was an excellent Urban Decay Foundation called “All Nighter,” but I purchased this Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics, as soon as the brand became available in Canada in spring. I had read from countless beauty bloggers with a similar fair skin, hat they loved this CC + cream both for its anti-aging benefits and because it functioned as a matte foundation.
Moreover, when I purchased this CC+ Cream with some other IT Cosmetics loot, I was extremely pleased with their products. The original CC+ Cream works well, providing the full coverage of a foundation. However, it also has moisturizer and anti-aging ingredients plastic surgeons and dermatologists use in their cosmetic skin treatments. For me, the moisturizer and anti-aging products were a plus as the last couple of years my skin has tended to be more normal and less oily. Since my skin is drier, and the extra moisturizer keeps my skin hydrated. I loved that the product had such a high SPF of 50+ as I burn easily and protecting your face from sun damage and future wrinkles is essential in the summer and all year round.
As well, for those of you who do not know the difference between a foundation, a CC cream, and BB Cream I’ll define those briefly. Foundation is extra coverage on your face to make your skin appear flawless and have an even skin tone. It can come in a cream, liquid, stick or in other version but it does not have extra moisturizer or anti-aging benefits. A BB Cream, however, ss essentially a moisturizer with light coverage and a CC cream has anti-aging products, moisturizer, and buildable or full coverage similar to the coverage of light to medium coverage foundation.
This specific CC+ Cream by IT Cosmetics, is one of the best CC + Creams I’ve ever used and it superior to many foundations, providing full matte coverage that stays most of the day. The product descriptions notes that along with having SPF 50 + UVA/UVB rays, the CC+ Cream works to “clinically increase hydration,” give skin a”smooth[er] texture, and enhance [skin] brightness.” As advertised, I have never found this CC + Cream to crack or crease and its great at hiding imperfections.
As well, the matte CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics is anti-aging and the ingredients in the product include “hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and antioxidants” that diminish ” wrinkles” and the size of pores.
If you wear makeup almost every day, a tube of matte CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics lasts three months and feels lighter than my Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation which I save for when I’m going out and wearing my makeup for 18 to 20 hours. This CC+ Cream is a light feeling makeup for in the day and I definitely recommend it. Its price is also comparable in price to most foundations and the benefits of anti-aging ingredients, make thee CC+ creams one of my new favorites for almost every occasion. I give it 5/5 stars!
2. IT Cosmetics – Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream with SPF 50 + (In Fair) – http://www.sephora.ca – $49.00 CAN
The second time I ordered the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream I noticed they had a new version of the CC + Cream out so I decided to try it as it promised full coverage but with a “radiant finish.” I was as happy with this CC+ Cream as the one above, it still had great anti-aging ingredients such as Collagen and Hyaluronic acid which are essential to your skin staying youthful. However, I also liked that the Illumination formula felt a tad lighter on my skin.
I don’t notice that is less matte than the original CC+ Cream or that it shows more glowiness or radiance. However, comparing the two together the first CC+ cream is actually a bit heavier in coverage while this one feels a bit more natural and mixes better with a liquid highlighter cream. The original CC+ Cream doesn’t mix well with liquid highlighters and tends to remain quite matte. However, to get that ‘radiant’ finish a person does have to add their favorite liquid highlighter. Tarte has a great one if you’re interested, check it out HERE.
I have continued using this CC+ Illuminating Cream into Fall and Winter, for the lighter feel and finish of the CC+ Cream compared to the initial CC+ Cream. I ordered it a third time this month and like the original cream, it lasts about three months.
Especially now that its winter, I notice I need the extra moisturizer and after a few months of using both CC+ Creams I do notice my skin is smoother and feels nicer. Also, if you are worried about breaking out I hardly break out with either CC+ Cream and when I attempted to switch back just to a light coverage foundation, it wasn’t comparable to either the illuminating or original CC + Creams not having the moisture or extra anti-aging products.
I have the color fair in either CC+ Cream and its perfect for my pale skin but the product can be applied lightly enough so that if you were going on vacation somewhere hot and needed good coverage with the SPF 50+ and UVA/UVB protection, you could use a darker shade of the CC+ cream or add a few drops of a darker foundation to the product. I give the Illumination CC+ Cream 4/5 stars only because I was expecting more luminance from it.
3. IT Cosmetics – Your Skin But Better CC + Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ (www.sephora.ca) – $45.00 CAN
When I had oilier skin I went through powder almost as often as I used foundation and I had never found a product comparable to Clinique’s Almost Powder Makeup until I used this Perfecting Powder from It Cosmetics. One of my favorite things about the powder in summer was that the packaging is designed so that sponge has a little place beneath the powder compact so no germs or bacteria end up in the powder.
Also, I used the color fair which was perfect for me. It gave me coverage where I needed, say when using concealer beneath my eyes or over a concealed blemish.
I do put a bit of powder on my skin for contouring and in only in certain areas of my currently normal skin type. When it was warmer, I put the powder where it might be oilier or where my makeup might fade. Now, I simply use a small powder brush to set concealer under my eyes, on my forehead, chin, and under my contour and blush and it lasts me the entire day.
Also, I love that powder feels light and but has excellent coverage. Again, in a warmer place where you tan, a darker powder would work to keep your face more matte. I liked this powder better than the illuminating powder for its coverage in areas a person needs.
My current compact, purchased in spring, has lasted almost a good six months. I’m only now getting down to the bottom of the package which I bought in early spring. IT Cosmetics also has a colorless powder if you don’t like the skin toned powder and don’t need it. As well, if you use the powder all over your face with one of the CC+ Cream it improves the coverage of your makeup a great deal
As well, the powder is made with “skin-loving Drops of Light Technology” that “transform” the appearance of your skin with “optical-blurring pigments that visually camouflage pores, dark spots, and fine lines.” When I put this powder on certain areas or if you put it on your whole face, it most definitely makes your skin appear “soft, flawless, and luminous” as advertised on Sephora.ca.
Moreover, the Air Brush Perfecting Powder’s anti-aging ingredients include “hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, and silk,” and the coverage of the powder is buildable. I do not have many lines or any wrinkles yet but the product also claims not to settle into lines or wrinkles which is always a bonus.
This is my new favorite powder and comparable in price to my old Clinique Almost Powder makeup as it lasts longer. It also feels lighter on my skin and my skin still feels soft when wearing it. A 5/5 star product for sure!
My first impressions after ordering this Ombre Radiance Bronzer mid-summer was that the Bronze color would be too dark for me even though its a bronzer for most skin tones. I’m quite pale so something too orangy or dark looks ake on my skin especially for bronzing or for contouring.
However, what I loved about this product as I used it was that it was ombre so that I could essentially mix the bronzer so I used about a medium shade of the ombre on my skin for contouring and the lighter more radiant end for bronzing. If I wanted a look not too matte but a little glowy, I could also mix the light bronzer and the dark bronzer together. Overall the ombre bronzer works well and is a good concept for a bronzer. However, having fair skin I have to be careful not to use the dark and matte end of the bronzer alone.
I liked that the bronzer was big in size for blending in the palette and I also felt like I was receiving my money’s worth. Nevertheless, the cover is similar to a clear bubble and is difficult to put away with other makeup as it sticks up and doesn’t lie flat.
Overall I think the IT Cosmetics Ombre Radiance Bronzer excellent product with 3.5/5 stars. I do think there should be two shades of this bronzer, one for skin with blue or pink tones (and less orange) and one for skin tones that are warmer. It would make it a more effective product for all women. As well, the packaging could be changed to make it easier to store.
5. IT Cosmetics – Brow Power – Universal Brow Pencil (Universal Taupe) – http://www.sephora.ca – $32.00 CAN
This Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil is absolutely one of my favorite brow pencils that I have ever used. It’s not quite a pencil that you sharpen but a thicker brow pencil turning out of the penciled cover with an “ovalled tip.” The pencil is easy to apply to shape brows and to fill in sparse eyebrows.
As brows are a huge makeup trend right now, finding your perfect brow pencil is difficult. However, this pencil is wonderful for many skin tones unless your eyebrows are black or have a warmer tone such as those women who are redheads or have more red in their natural hair color.
As well, if your brows are on the lighter side, you can apply less of the brow pencil. For instance, you can use it to shape your brows and then take the spoolie at the end of the pencil and brush through your brows, using the outside pencil shaping to fill in your naturally lighter toned brows. However, if your eyebrows are naturally a little darker such as mine, you can outline your brows and fill them in a little in the middle, for a more natural looking brow with a bit more definition.
Also, if you wanted a full-on brow look, shaping and filling in your brows with the pencil all over, will give you this bold look. Moreover, it is my opinion that a brow gel such as Benefit’s Volumizing Brow Gel gives your brow hairs a more defined look and more volume with the Benefit Brow Gel or a similar product. You can also use less brow pencil inside your brows when using a volumizing brow gel.
IT Cosmetics writes that their Universal brow pencil is infused with “proprietary Brow Power™ Technology and brow-enhancing ingredients.” These include ingredients such as “biotin, saw palmetto, and antioxidants.” The “oval tip” of the pencil is also meant to “mimic” the “look of real hair” and the formula of the pencil is “budge-proof” and long-lasting.
My only thought was that a person who has a warmer skin tone might need a brow pencil that is a warmer brown and not a cool taupe. For me the Brow Power IT Cosmetics brow pencil is perfect and I would give it 5/5 stars.
6. IT Cosmetics – Vitality Lip Flush Hydrating Lip Gloss Soft Stain – High Shine Finish – (Color: Je Ne Sais Quoi) – http://www.sephora.ca – $25.00 CAN
If you’re like me, you might not be a big lipstick person. Partly because you choose not to focus on your lips in your makeup routine, or partly because you want a more natural lip color that moisturizes and stays on your lips. Although this Vitality Lip Flush is a neat product as it alters lip color to your natural PH level, and your best pink lip color, it’s only moisturizing when you have it on your lips.
It is not long lasting and once it wears off your lips, they tend to feel dried out even though this lip product is supposed to hydrate well. The Lip Flush appears beautiful when you have it on but it needs to be re-applied every half hour or so. It’s also anti-aging and creates a “pink stain” on your lips which looks pretty, natural, glossy, and healthy.
The product is created with IT Cosmetics’s “Hydra-Luxe™ technology” with ingredients such as “plum oil, cherry oil, shea butter, aloe, and jojoba” that are all supposed to “hydrate, condition, and nourish” your lips. For me, I didn’t like how my lips felt when the product had worn off.
On the upside, it is a great product for all skin tones as it adapts to your perfect pink lip color. It’s not a bad product and I do think its benefits outweigh its ‘cons’ so I would give the product 3 /5 stars as its extremely versatile and moisturizing for the time it remains on your lips.
See You For Part Two of My Fall/Winter 2017 Beauty Haul!!
“An ‘Elfje’ counts as five sentences.
Line 1 – One word. This word symbolizes a colour or feature. The word symbolizes the atmosphere.
Line 2 – Two words. These are something or someone with this colour or feature.
Line 3 – Three words. Giving more information about the person or the object. You describe where the person or the object is, who the person or what the object is, or what the person or object is doing. This sentence usually starts with the word ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘it.’
Line 4 – Four words. Here you are writing something about yourself in relation to the person or the object. This sentence is your conclusion.
Line 5 – One word. This word is called the ‘Bomb.’ It is the essence of the poem.”
Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting the current #100WordWednesday. My apologies this week a hundred words turned into a few hundred that could not be cut.
The balmy August air, humid and filled with scent of sand and the lake was a smell I would never forget. Years later, I’d be sitting on my chair in the nursing home and that peculiar fragrance mixed with your cologne would suddenly take me back.
I was leaning against the ice cream stand, watching various kids play in the lake. The line up for ice cream had been long but I wasn’t picky about my ice cream flavor — anything chocolate would do. The server presented me with a gigantic three-scoop ice cream cone but had no idea how I’d eat it all. The server told me that the gentleman behind me had paid for it, but gazing back I had no idea which guy he meant.
Then, I went and I hid ( where I am now) behind the ice cream stand. That’s when the scent of sea and sand, and of sunscreen was heightened by the somehow familiar scent of your subtle cologne, citrusy and woodsy, mixed with the fragrances of the beach. It was a heavenly and sexy scent. It even overwhelmed the taste of the chocolate ice cream. My eyes closed inhaling your forever scent.
Minutes later, I opened them and you were there, leaning against the building beside me. Sharp indigo eyes and all smooth muscles and toned arms that were lightly tanned. You were devouring a three-scoop cone of Tiger ice cream as you stood watching me, reaching out only to wipe the melted chocolate away from dribbling down my hand. Even then, you were always gentle.
But I felt your touch through the napkin, saw the light stubble on your cheeks and your full lips as you come close for a moment. Your divine cologne mingling with the smells of the lake, made my legs weak and you knew it too. There was laughter in your deep-blue eyes.
“I can’t eat anymore of this you know?” I said looking dubiously at the half melted cone.
You chuckled, still staring at me,”It’s okay, but you’ve got some chocolate here,” you said wiping it off the corner of my lips with your thumb.
I could hardly breath. The memory, the feelings, they were so intense. I wanted to be anywhere else but on the beach at that moment. I wanted to be somewhere private with you.
It was a dreamlike memory, but this dream had once been our reality — our meet-cute. Later as we chatted I recalled you stroking my arms with a feather soft touch. You threw my melted icecream away, tangling your hands in my long hair. Bending down your lips meant mine, again and again. Intoxicated I devoured your scent comingled with the beach, the water, and the taste of your mouth.
I missed you still.
Hours later, I was awake in my chair in my room at the nursing home. I wondered if on the otherside you’d be there to meet me soon. If that same scent that made my knees weak so long ago, could be felt again as you you would smile with warm bedroom eyes and gentle concern. I hoped you and I could be together again in the celestial here-after as we had once been in life; friends and lovers both.
Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.
It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product
To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have
been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.
3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN
A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars.
4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00 CAN
The hunt for the perfecteyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no
longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five.
I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter.
6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.
I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me
@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars
My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.
This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in
my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizerthese B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.