Teal & Gold NOTD

Teal1

Finding myself with a bit of much needed quiet time, I decided to do a NOTD! I’ve missed them. Today’s nails have a tealy aqua-blue base with some gold dots. I used Reitman’s Aqua Mineral for the base and Avon Gel Finish 7 in 1 nail enamel for the dots. And of course my favourite NYC fast drying top coat.

Teal4

Teal3

Teal2

I liked the results, super simple, easy and cute.

Hope you’re all doing well!

Some Sunscreen Bull Shite

katezilla:

A reblog from me is rare, but this one is highly worthy of sharing!

Originally posted on Realize Beauty:

Ok so I’ve been digging around in the world of sunscreen education / communication again and I saw this still going around:

UVA is for Ageing

UVB is for Burning

As if ‘we’ are participating in some simple fairy tale………

Well we are not five years old people, we are mature adults and UVA is NOT for ageing and UVB is NOT for burning.  The split between UVA and UVB is somewhat arbitrary in as much as the point in which one becomes another for SUNSCREENS sake is man-made.

What the skin sees is the sun in all its glory – a continuous stream of rays of varying wavelength, some short, some long and some in-between.  We need to think of sunlight as a symphony and not just a breakdown of its notes – quality based not quantity based.

OK so back to the A is ageing and B is…

View original 263 more words

Avon Gel Finish 7 in 1 Nail Enamel

Avon Gel Finish

Avon Gel Finish – Glimmer, Very Berry, Inked Up

Hi! I wanted to quickly share this Avon polish I tried recently! I didn’t have time to do full, shiny swatches for you but I did remember to take a picture of each one I hastily slapped on my nails on a busy work night! Simply put, this polish is pretty darn good. I’ve never worn gel polish, so I can’t make a direct comparison between that and this Avon one which claims to have “gel finish”. I will say that most polishes chip within a day, and is pretty unsightly within a couple of days. But not these ones! Each of the above shades stayed on my nails, with minimal chips, for a full work week. This is unheard of for me!

I picked up Glimmer, a beige gold with some micro flake glitter, Inked Up, a deep, dark inky navy blue creme without a spec of glitter, and Very Berry, a gorgeous perfect pinky purpley red. They applied smoothly, drying time was reasonable, wear time was fantastic and it even removed easily when I finally wanted to take it off. Below are some pictures taken quickly, first Very Berry (after a full day’s wear), then Inked Up, again after a day’s wear (covered in a gold flake top coat – sorry!) with Glimmer on the index finger.

Avon Gel Finish Very Berry

Avon Gel Finish Very Berry

Avon Gel Finish Inked Up, Glimmer

Avon Gel Finish Inked Up, Glimmer, gold flake top coat

I’m talking myself into getting more, this formula is great! If you’re into green shades, do yourself a favour and look up a swatch of the Avon Gel Finish in “Envy”, wow!

Enjoy your week!

Manuka Honey Peel-Off Face Mask by Montagne Jeunesse

Manuka Honey Peel Off Mask

Manuka Honey Peel Off Mask

I’m a bit particular about facial masks. My oily skin doesn’t need a moisturizing mask, plus I don’t see the point of slapping it on only to rinse it off a few minutes later. Mud masks perplex me as well. Despite occasionally (and very temporarily) improving my skin texture, I don’t see how it is possible for them to “draw out impurities” (whatever those are. Is it a mud attracting dirt theory?) But peel off masks I really like. They take along with them a layer of dead skin, leaving you looking fresher with less annoying dry winter skin flakies!

Tiffany from ObsessedCanada offered to send me a selection of Montagne Jeunesse face masks, and I was excited to pick out some peel off masks. As I only have one face, I will be featuring them one at a time in separate reviews. Today’s review is for the Manuka Honey one!

Back of Manuka Honey Mask Package

Back of Manuka Honey Mask Package

This mask really smells like honey. A very floral honey (jasmine). It is intense, but lovely, as I really like honey! This scent does linger after the mask is removed as well. The texture and colour is also very honey like, thankfully without as much stickiness. It smooths on evenly without any trouble, and dries to a thin, solid, easy to peel off finish.

Ingredients of Manuka Honey Mask

Ingredients of Manuka Honey Mask

I really enjoyed the smooth feel of my skin after this mask, and would absolutely use it again! I got 2 uses out of the package ($1.99) just by keeping the remainder left inside the package, folded over then in a zip bag. If you are into peel off masks and honey, give this a try! Montagne Jeunesse products are cruelty free and made in the UK. This package contained 10mls of mask.

Thanks again to ObsessedCanada. Looking forward to trying the rest of the masks!

November Empties!

NovEmpty1

This month has flown by for me, despite being full of rain, more rain only heavier, below freezing temperatures and even some snow, which is thankfully rare in Vancouver. I don’t like being so busy that I can’t post, and it’s been far too long. Long enough to have lots of empties! Plus one item that is not used up but was so bad it needs to go!

NovEmpty2

November Empties!

Numbered clockwise starting on the left.

1) Yves Rocher Yellow Peach Shower Gel

This was a pretty standard liquid soap/shower gel with a peachy fragrance. The peach scent was fresh and not overly ripe, but a little powdery which bothered me enough to not want to repurchase. The bottle was a generous 400ml/13.4 oz.

2) Aussie You Can Shine Hairspray

This was decent enough hairspray, it did it’s job. Had a nice citrusy fruity smell. I didn’t notice any stickiness or crispness. I would repurchase this if I found it on sale, which is how I found this can!

3) Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti Frizz Serum

Although most silicone serums for frizzy hair are mostly the same, this is one of my favourites. It has a nice fruity scent standard for any Fructis product, and has a thinner, easier to spread consistency which helps when you have super long, super fine hair like mine. The pump is also a winner. This is my second or third bottle of this and I will continue to rebuy until I can’t find it anymore!

4) Avon Moisture Therapy Calming Relief Creamy Body Wash

Although I would also recommend this for a body wash, I use it on my face! It removes makeup really well, does not irritate, and doesn’t leave any residue. If you have really dry skin I wouldn’t recommend use on your face but it does a great job on my oily skin! Contains oatmeal to soothe dry, tight, itchy skin. Been through many tubes of this!

5) Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Sampler

Now this one isn’t so much empty as it is impossible to use. The little patches of eye shadow sample were so dry and stuck on that application was impossible. I made the mistake of trying to make this work on a work day and had to scrap it mid way through. I’m sure the actual product is easier to use than this sample, but this sample has made me never want to try the real thing it was so bad. Complete failure in execution. Below is a picture of the tiny amount I managed to scrape off the card.

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

6) Neutrogena Acne Stress Control – 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

I wouldn’t really call this hydrating so much as it is smoothing, and I can’t even comment on the stress control claim! The silicone base makes your skin feel soft and smooth, while being at the right ph level for the salicylic acid to do it’s work. If I stop using this for a few days, I can feel and see the negative effect in my skin, getting flakier with more clogged pores. I will buy this as long as I can find it in Canada, as there is no other affordable, gentle, effective salicylic acid leave on treatment option that I am aware of in the country. Clean & Clear has a version of something similar which is only available in the US, and everything else I can find here has alcohol and other irritants in it.

7) NYC Color in a New York Minute – Grand Central Station

How often is it you finish a bottle of nail polish before it goes all weird on you? This isn’t my first finished bottle of the fast drying NYC clear coat, and certainly not my last. I will buy this as long as I can still find it in Canada. Currently I have to purchase it online to find it at all! Fantastic product. Did a full review here.

8) Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

I usually reach for pinks and reds, but somehow this peachy lip butter with tiny golden flecks has managed to work itself in many daily looks! It complements both warm and cooler eye looks and doesn;t look garish under fluorescent lighting. It has well earned it’s place as a daily favourite. Will I buy again? Absolutely, just waiting for a sale! The are otherwise around $10 in Canada.

9) L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara – Black

It may have been in blackest black or carbon black, I don’t remember, but it was, and is, a great mascara! This is the closest in formulation and brush as my long discontinued in Canada old favourite Full n’ Soft Mascara. It doesn’t clump too much, it holds a curl better than some, doesn’t flake (until you get to the end of the lifespan of the tube) and is perfectly waterproof without being too much of a pain to wash off. I will continue buying this when found on sale as long as it’s being made!

Hope everyone had a good November and you’re staying warm! Or cool if you’re one of my Aussie readers!

 

 

Nivea Body Care Products Reviewed (with Bonus Eye Care Review!)

Nivea Body Care Products

Nivea Body Care Products

Although not officially winter, it seems to be freezing and snowing all over, even here on the west coast where our winters are traditionally blankets of grey clouds and dreary rain! With wintery weather, comes along my dry, itchy, flaky, unhappy and generally disagreeable skin. I’ve tried just about everything, and I am reviewing some of the better performing drugstore options today! Reviewed from left to right as shown above.

Nivea Firming Body Milk Q10 Plus, 473ml (white, left most bottle)

This one comes in a slightly smaller bottle than Nivea’s other lotion offerings, but is a still generous size at 473ml. It contains Q10 (Ubiquinone) which is a potent antioxidant. There are studies proving it’s effectiveness when taken internally but I can’t seem to find much about it’s effects when used topically. I do know I like antioxidants in my skin care as I know they help reduce UV damage, so I suppose that’s enough for me to appreciate it.

The lotion has a very green floral scent which does fade in time. I like fragrance and it doesn’t bother my skin but it worth mentioning in the event it does irritate yours. This one seems to take a while longer to soak in, and leaves a soft feeling with a tiny  bit of slippery residue which I think might be the macadamia nut oil. In the summer this sticky leftover feeling bothered me, now in the winter it’s more than welcome! It does help me feel moisturized for a longer period of time. Although Nivea rates this as somewhere midway between light and rich moisture, its a fairly rich moisturizer for me due to the macadamia nut oil.

Nivea claims this lotion will improve your skin’s elasticity. I cannot attest to this claim, and I don’t have such high standards for my lotions. I just don’t think it’s possible to greatly change the qualities of my skin with a non prescription body lotion. Of course I wouldn’t mind if it did however!

I would recommend this for someone who is interested in antioxidants in their skin care, likes oils and the feeling of light oil in their skin care, and likes fresh green floral scents.

Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk, Dry to Very Dry Skin  625ml (blue bottle in middle)

This bottle is huge! This one contains almond oil, consistently popular in hand and nail products. The formula is incredibly thick, heavy, and rich, which after careful testing and consideration I’ve determined to be due to a huge amount of the thickening agent isohexadecane in the formulation – it’s the third ingredient after water and mineral oil! Well, even if it’s just for marketing purposes, the result is a very luxurious experience when applying. It feels like a real treat for your skin going on.

The fragrance of this one needs to be mentioned. It’s not your typical light lotiony fragrance. This one is very decidedly perfumey. In fact, when it dries down, it reminds me a bit of J’adore! Clean, very fresh, somewhat sophisticated even, for a lotion.

The package doesn’t claim to do anything other than smooth and soften your dry skin, which it does, as would any decent lotion. The formula is an oilier one, which I do like. Despite being oilier, my skin seems to just drink it right up! I do notice, however, that my skin sometimes feels a bit drier a while after using it. I’m wondering if it’s an after effect of the huge amount of thickening agent, as I think I’m applying a lot of moisture when I really might not be. I’ve also just noticed that sea salt is in the ingredient list, and it might have something to do with that. This isn’t enough to stop me from liking it enough to at least finish the bottle.

I would recommend this for someone who likes a heavier oil in their body care products, seeks out very fragranced products, and has normal to dry skin. I don’t think this will be the right kind of moisture for very dry, or very sensitive skin.

Nivea Happy Time Shower Cream 500ml (white bottle on the right)

This formula contains the ever popular sweet almond oil and bamboo extract, which is intended to improve your skin’s collagen and elastin. As I don’t think a body wash can actually do that, and it doesn’t actually claim to, I will review it as just a body wash.

The fragrance is advertised to be an invigorating orange blossom scent. I personally find this to be more orange creamsicle rather than orange blossom. It’s definitely more food than floral. There is a light trail of flowers underneath the orange creamsicle. It’s nice, soft, fresh, in no way over powering and somewhat refreshing.

The formula itself is rich, smooth, creamy and lathers well, with lots of soft bubbles. It doesn’t seem to make my skin feel weird, red or itchy after a few uses like some body washes do (looking in your direction, Olay…) As a body wash, it does it’s job, and you get a generous amount for the price.

I would recommend this to someone who prefers a slightly more moisturizing body wash and likes the idea of eating orange creamsicles in a summer flower garden.

Bonus!  Nivea Visage Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Eye Care 15ml (tiny little tube at the top!)

I am not of the school of thought that a separate eye cream is necessary, and that if you have a properly formulated wrinkle/skin care system for the rest of your face, you should be able to use it around the eye area as well. This was passed along to me by my mother, who didn’t like it as it stung the skin around her eyes – pretty much a mark of failure in a product intended to be formulated specifically for that area! Well, I tried it out, and wouldn’t you know it, it stung the skin under my eyes as well. Not even retinol products do that. I couldn’t use it long enough to form an educated opinion on it’s claim to reduce dark under eye circles, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be able to do that anyway. I might use this up as a cuticle cream.  I will be sticking with my Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Cream for now!

I would recommend this product for someone with very agreeable skin, impervious to any reactions or stinging from any product at all (which I usually am!) who is looking for light moisture and no miracles whatsoever.

Hope everyone is making it through their fall/winter so far! Stay warm!

Happy Halloween!

happy-halloween-black-cat-3

Hi! Happy Halloween! Boo!

Of course I’ve seen dozens of super cute, incredibly creative and inspirationally awesome Halloween manicures on your blogs out there, but I am really pressed for time these days! I still wanted to do something, and had this adorable press on pumpkin, so this is what I ended up with! This little pumpkin stayed on far longer than anticipated (it was from a kids press on set!) The sparkly black is the Hard Candy Bite of Black I received in this Hard Candy Prize Pack!

halloweennails

 

halloweennails1

 

What are you doing for Halloween? Tell me about your costumes, so I can live vicariously! :)

happy-halloween-cat-gif-4

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 Review!

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2

I am lucky in that I don’t work in one of those offices that are “fragrance free”.  This doesn’t mean that I think anyone can just drench themselves in a stinky patchouli bomb and have it be welcomed and appropriate, as I am fond of fragrance only with a very light, restrained hand. But when it comes to addressing allergies, I am firmly in the position that the allergy sufferer is responsible for maintaining a lifestyle so as to not aggravate their allergy, and not those around them. Allergies are so plentiful in variance that it is unrealistic to expect the general public to be sensitive to all of them for you. The point of this is – I get to (lightly, in small amounts) enjoy fragrances on an every day basis! Yay!

It briefly crossed my mind to ask if it was a fragrance free zone around the same time I asked if there was a dress code. I no longer had a concern about the issue when, moments later, I met a staff member who was Very Obviously Wearing Giorgio (is there any other way to wear Giorgio?) Although I’m sure VOWG applied with restraint, I could still smell it at least 10 feet outside her office doorway. This might bother some, but Giorgio reminds me of my very fashionable grandmother, so I actually appreciate its shrilly floral, unmistakable cloud of sweet 80’s statement fragrance.

I recall recently commenting that although I couldn’t pick a favourite fragrance, I tended to have very particular scents for very certain circumstances. Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 is one of those! I wear this one mainly in fall, and generally for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners. Why? It is full of cranberry! Let’s take a look at the notes!

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 Notes

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 Notes

Yup, that’s it. Allegedly. Cranberry and Tonka Bean. I do catch a hit of citrus in it from time to time as well. The cranberry is sweet, tart, sour and juicy, and the tonka bean lends a spicy warm baked goods feeling. No wonder I want to wear this over the holiday season! Although it is not a complicated fragrance, it is a delicious one. When I sampled this when it first came out a couple of years back, a woman followed me around the store with her baby stroller making “mmmm yummy” sounds! I wore this happily over our Thanksgiving here in Canada the other week, and I will wear it just as happily a few times between now and Christmas time. I will likely put it away again until next year, as I have in years before. Not only do i strongly associate this one with cranberry sauce and holiday baked goods, but it’s over simplicity makes me tire of it quickly. So to keep it special, I will keep this one for use between October to the end of December only!

Anyone have any special fragrances they reserve for holidays or special events? I can’t be the only one who does this!

Have a great weekend!

Perky Polka Dot NOTD!

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

Such a dreary, rainy blah day today in Vancouver, as is typical for us in the Fall. I had actually done this in the summer, but found the pictures while rummaging through my to-do file and found the bright colours to be uplifiting, so I will share!

I used NYC Color in a New York Minute polish in Times Square, a brightened red pinkish-coral and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish in Splash, a blue and white hex glitter in clear base. Two coats of NYC Times Square, which applied perfectly as always, and I forget how many coats of Sally Hansen Splash, because it was such a pain in the butt to work with, shown applied below.

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

NYC Times Square, Sally Hansen Splash

Why was it a pain in the butt? The clear base was thick and gloppy, the glitter hexes were far too sparse and this polish bubbled more than any I have ever used in my entire life. If you look closely, you can see them in the final result. It was difficult to manage, scraping the gloppy base off the brush while trying to maintain enough glitter to smush, not stroke, on my nail, in the right places. The glitter itself is adorable, and I would love the final result if it didn’t bubble so much, but as it is, this one isn’t worth your time. The NYC Times Square, however, if you can find that (usually about $2) you need it in your life. The pictures do not do it justice, and don’t capture the amazing way it manages to be both reddish pink and reddish orange at the same time. It dries quickly and wears well for a few days with your favouite top coat.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

ELF Products Only! Pale Smoky Purple Eye Look Using Only ELF Cosmetics & Tools!

ELF Cosmetics & Tools

ELF Cosmetics & Tools

I was planning on doing a simple swatch and review of this purple ELF cosmetics eyeshadow set, labeled only as “Smoky”. It then occured to me that I had enough ELF products that I would be able to do a complete eye look using ELF only products, tools and brushed included! I didn’t use everything shown above but thought I should include them in the picture just in case I did. Included in the picture above: a six pan eyeshadow set called Smoky, a liquid liner in Plum, a black mascara, an eyelash curler, two pencil liners, one in Black and one in Plum, two eyeshadow brushes, a small concealer brush I usually use for liner, a pencil sharpener that was included with the eyeliner and an eyeliner brush, all ELF products.

Swatched below are the eye liners, the pencil ones first in Plum then Black. The black didn’t stick to my waterline as I had hoped, the formula just isn’t gel like enough for that, but they still apply well to skin, and I ended up using the Plum pencil under my eye in the finished look. The Liquid liner is on the bottom, also named Plum. I quite like the liquid liner, I did a full review on the one in black, and I love it (had to buy backups, and I’m glad I did as it’s gone now!)

ELF Eye Liners in Plum and Black

ELF Eye Liners in Plum and Black

And below I have swatched the six pan palette in Smoky. Pigmentation was ok in most of them, nothing outstanding but definitely good enough to be workable for a casual look. The purple and black ones were drier than the rest, with the purple being the only really matte one in the pan. It applied better than the black. All contained sparkle in one way or another. From top to bottom we have a very frosty sheer white, a pinky lavender, the matte purple (which had sparkle in its overspray but not underneath that), a silvery, slightly lilac taupe, and impressively pigmented shimmery charcoal grey, and a not particularly well pigmented matte black with loose sparkles in the matte base. I didn’t end up using the grey or black in this lighter smoky look today.

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow 6 Pan Palette Swatches

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow 6 Pan Palette Swatches

The eyeshadows did blend just fine, and seemed to lose the heavy glitter as i blended along, which is fine with me. I did a look using the matte purple on lid, pinky lavender in crease, the taupe on inner half of lid, and the tiniest bit of the frost white in my inner corner. Although it looks black in the picture, I did use the liquid liner in Plum on my upper lid, and the pencil liner in Plum on the lower.

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow on eye

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow on eye

You can’t see the mascara very well at this angle, but I am satisfied with it’s performance. It built reasonably well in 2 coats and dried to a very soft and flexible finish. Due to this flexibility however, it didn’t hold a curl well. If you were in desperate need of mascara and only had a buck, this would do the job in a pinch. It did start to flake on me, but this might be my fault as I was continuously poking at it, being impressed with it’s flexibility.

Overall, if you don’t have particularly high performance demands, pigment wise, out of your makeup, or if you don’t like using your expensive stuff when you are only going to be out a couple hours for errands or something, I would recommend these ELF products (the eyeliner especially, which is a daily use product for me!)

Have any favourite ELF products?

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers