Space Matter NOTD – Love & Beauty!

Space Matter Love & Beauty

Space Matter Love & Beauty

Today’s NOTD is so far up my alley that it’s set up a lawn chair, cracked a beer, and has made itself comfy for a good, long stay. Space Matter is from Love & Beauty, Forever 21’s cosmetic line. And it is fantastic! Neutral but shiny with sparkles, edgy yet subtly so, this became an instant favourite.

Space Matter Love & Beauty

Space Matter Love & Beauty

 

Space Matter is a medium/dark grey with silver sparkles. The bottle has a large, square/cube lid and a large, but not flat, brush which made application a little trickier for me but not impossible. The formula dries quickly and was fine in two coats but three was better. I liked it both with and without a topcoat. Interested in seeing what this looks like with a matte topcoat in the future. Shown without, then with a topcoat.

 

Space Matter no topcoat

Space Matter no topcoat

Space Matter with topcoat

Space Matter with topcoat

Space Matter in sunlight

Space Matter in sunlight

Space Matter in sunlight

Space Matter in sunlight

 

Can’t wait to see how this brand wears. The pics above in sunlight are after a day’s wear. Best of all, it’s cheap too! I never thought I’d ever buy anything from Forever 21, let alone love it! I have a purple shimmery one coming up to share as well.

How’s everyone’s week? Survive April Fool’s Day?

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?

Revlon Naughty NOTD, Swatch & Review!

Revlon Naughty

Revlon Naughty

An appropriately grey day here, just right for this stormy purple! Revlon Naughty is not this shade’s first incarnation.  This was first released long ago as a limited edition called Purplex! It was reintroduced later as Revlon Naughty, and I’m glad it was! As far as I can tell it is not yet discontinued. This one is also known as a perfect dupe for Chanel Paradoxal!

Revlon Naughty is a perfect blend of grey and purple, with a subtle pinkish shimmer throughout. It looks great in 2 coats and was shiny enough to not need a top coat for the swatches I took for this post. It wore well for a few days, with more tip wear than chips, which was nice. When it was time to take it off for a fresh manicure, I ended up painting it right back on! Good way to tell you really like a shade! This of course does lean very cool toned so it may not look right on everyone. I also find there is enough grey in it for it to behave as a neutral, at least in my wardrobe.

Some swatches in various lighting. Two coats no top coat.

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

Revlon Naughty Swatch

I really like this one! Great for fall (or any other time, really!)

Enjoy your weekend!

Grey Gradient NOTD!

Greydient Greys!

Greydient Greys!

I talked myself out of naming this post “Graydient” NOTD. I’m a bit surprised I’ve never tried this before! Used for today’s nails: OPI Black Onyx, Yves Rocher mini Grix Precieux, L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Rimmel 60 Seconds Grey Matter and a mini Markwins white polish intended for french manicures. The two mid greys looked closer in shade on camera than they did in person, and I had to use flash to bring out the dark grey in the Yves Rocher shade which dried considerably darker than the bottle colour, but overall I did like the effect! Photos in different lights!

Gradient_Grey_3

Gradient_Grey_2

Gradient_Grey_1

 

I made it a day before putting on a coat of Revlon Graffiti top coat, I like this too! I think I will be doing more of these!

Gradient_Gray_Speckle

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Essence Chic Reloaded NOTD Swatch & Review!

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

I was stuck waiting for a bus on my way home from an appointment recently, so I decided to use the time to stop into the Shopper’s Drug Mart, which I don’t normally get to do, and I’m sure glad I did! I had some fantastic luck in the clearance section with this beauty, and something else I will be posting later. I found this hiding in a clearance bin for 50 cents! Crazy. Usually the duochromes sell out fast.

Essence Chic Reloaded is a green to pinky-purple shifting duochrome, with a charcoaly grey undertone you can see between shifts of colour. Stunning!  As with all of the newer Essence polishes, it dried quickly. This shade took two coats for opacity but looked better with three. My swatches are without a topcoat, and I think it would benefit greatly from one, but I wanted the swatches to show the colour shift properly without a glossy sheen interfering. The brush is perfect for my nail shape and skill level. The only thing I didn’t like about this particular polish was that it seemed to chip faster than my other Essences – a topcoat would likely help with this as well. But for 50 cents, I’m really not complaining. Here are some swatches in various lights, tried to capture the colour shift in each shot!

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

And also this is the closest I could get to capturing the charcoal grey shift in between the purple/green shades.

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

And a close up of the bottle, trying to capture both shade shifts!

Essence Chic Reloaded

Essence Chic Reloaded

Love it! Check out your local Shopper’s Drug Mart clearance section, Canadian ladies. There might be good stuff!

 

I also wanted to take a moment to acknowledge my nomination for a Liebster Award from Madeleine’s Beauty.

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

 

I am happy to link back to her for the recognition, but I am afraid my participation will end there. I find these awards to be kind of spammy/hammy/chain letter like, and they force a blogger into a lot of work they haven’t signed up for, and I would prefer to not be the person giving them that work. I already happily do link to other blogs when it is appropriate (for examples you may check out some of my posts referencing Polly Fragrant and LastContrast) but I am really not interested in spamming my friends. Although it may not seem it, seeing as I have a public blog, I am actually a very private person, and answering a series of personal questions (and then forcing a dozen or so others to do the same) makes me acutely uncomfortable. I did answer a few more personal questions in response to a Very Inspiring Blogger Award which you can check out here. I also changed the rules for that award as well, which I think may have been my favourite part of the whole thing. Call me a non conformist! Thank you again, Madeleine, for your nomination.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Revlon Colorstay Provence NOTD Swatch & Review!

Revlon Provence

Revlon Provence

I used the sky as my backdrop for this bottle of polish, what an amazing colour! Was a gorgeous day so I had to take advantage of it. It did make the shade in the bottle look greyer than it actually is, however.

The first of the newer incarnation of Revlon Colorstay nail enamels (my favourite) that I purchased was this one, Provence. It wasn’t recently, it was some time ago as it is sadly now discontinued. Thankfully it is still usable. Now that I think of it, I still have some of the first versions of the Revlon Colorstay polishes that are still usable, remember when they came in a duo pack with a topcoat? Those. I have a bunch of those still. How long have I had these, 10 years? 15?

Revlon Provence is a pale, greyed out lavender shade. It has just enough purple in it to see that there’s a colour there, but still subtle and neutral enough for even the most conservative of venues. It is sheer and streaky in one coat, but evens out nicely with two coats. Dry time is a little longer with this one as it stays tacky for a while. Swatches below are with no topcoat. Still pretty shiny without it, I think.

Revlon Provence Shade

Revlon Provence in shade

Revlon Provence Sun

Revlon Provence with Flash

And I can’t help myself with topcoats, I added a layer of Essie As Gold As It Gets and then another of Revlon Colorstay Calla Lily for a bit of faint shimmer to add some depth and interest.

Revlon Provence with topcoats

Revlon Provence with gold topcoats

 

It’s more of a spring shade rather than summer, but I think it’s something nice and light for the super hot days we’ve been having here lately!

Enjoy your week!

Sephora Order/Prize Opening! (and a word of caution)

Sephora_Order_BoxLast month I was the lucky prize winner of a giveaway from the wonderfully generous Rebecca at lastcontrast! The prize was a $50 US gift certificate for Sephora which I gladly put towards this order. I am relieved I was able to use it for this order, as Sephora sure did give me a hard time about it. If you want to get straight to the goods, please skip ahead to the picture below. If you want to be aware of the behaviour of companies you may be buying from and are selective about where your beauty products are sourced, please read on.

I had a write up ready to go regarding their refusal to honor this gift certificate as I was in Canada. I will summarize here. I had it from them in writing that they were keeping the cash for it and not providing any goods or refund to the original buyer. Obviously, this refusal to provide a solution was completely unacceptable.  Over the course of my numerous carefully worded, polite emails, I did the work for them with suggestions and workarounds (six in total) that I know companies should be capable of from my 20 years in customer service myself. I begged for my concerns to be brought to management (on multiple occasions) or at least to someone with the authority to assist me. All I got in response were canned answers from whoever had the misfortune of getting to reply to my email, and by their replies I could tell no one was reading my concerns. As I had given up, and they clearly didn’t even bother trying to actually assist me, I allowed myself to be upset. I sent them an email stating as such and that my write up regarding their blatant refusal to assist after taking someone’s cash would be made available to them via links on any social media I could find including my blog and their Facebook pages for public review.

And what do you know. Unexpectedly, I got a call. A CALL, and they left me a message. Not an email. Someone, only after my upset email, decided to help me. Evidently they decided to honor my gift certificate as a refund to my card after my order had shipped (presumably so I couldn’t back out at that point). This workaround was similar to one of my suggested solutions. Incidentally, I’m still waiting for this refund but they swear it’s gone through on their end. I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I don’t I will issue a chargeback, as I do have it (in writing again) that they were to apply said refund. I am disappointed that my polite calls and emails were brushed off and ignored, but the snarky, upset one that promised to share their willingness to swindle customers with the public got their attention. I think it says a lot about the difference between Canadian and US culture. The only thing that kept them from blatant theft was the threat of me telling everyone about it. Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with Sephora in the future, if you’re particular about where your beauty dollars are spent.

 

ON TO THE GOODIES!

Sephora_Order_Numbered

 

I will quickly go over the haul as numbered. I will do more thorough reviews as the products are used, would be far too much to go into here!

1) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – the reason I placed the order in the first place. I have wanted this for a very long time but wouldn’t ever allow myself to spend that ($64 Can) on a beauty product. The gift card prize was the only way this could have ever happened. I haven’t used them all yet but so far “Pistol” is my favourite! This no longer comes with a lip gloss, which is a pity.

2) Tocca Florence Travel Fragrance Duo – contains a hand creme and a roller ball fragrance. A light fresh white floral that leans green.

3) Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample – 10 shades, 5 shimmer, 5 matte. Single use sample portions.

4) Sephora’s Niche Fragrance Sampler – includes Maison Martin Beach Walk, Tocca Simone, Tokyo Milk Dark Tainted Love,  Nest Midnight Fleur, Clean Skin, and Atelier Orange Sanguine (the topmost left in the waxed paper wrap there is a post card and a sample vial. Most beautifully presented sampler I have ever seen.) There is also a Juicy Couture La La sample but this was not included with the niche sampler, but for this list purpose, and for my later review they will be grouped together.

5) Tarte Flush Cheek Stain – a deluxe sample, from redeemed points Sephora gave me for my “inconvenience” while they were still declining to honor the gift certificate. An impressive amount for a sample. This could last for a few weeks worth of daily uses at least!

6) Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep matte bronzer. Smells of chocolate, lovely. Also a points redemption as above. Also an impressive amount for a sample, this is the size of a large single pan eye shadow.

7) Make Up For Ever HD Powder sample – a tiny amount of powder on a card.

8) Urban Decay Primer Potion samples (x2 as one was with the palette) – 4 different types of their Primer Potion line, says there is to be a weeks worth of each within the packet. I’m particularly interested in the “anti-aging” one as I’d not heard of it before. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of needing one product to make another work as it should without assistance.

9) Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – another points redemption as a deluxe sized sample. I admit to liking this far more than I thought I would. It’s simple but lovely.

10) Make Up For Ever “Happy Birthday” deluxe sample pack – contains a mini lipstick in N9 and a mini mascara in Smoky Extravagant. Added this to my order as it was available for free as my birthday is this month.

I would like to once again thank Rebecca at lastcontrast for her generous prize. I would have never had the opportunity to try these high end products otherwise. The out of pocket expense for the large list above was only $25 Canadian (I had to make it $75 for the free shipping as I’d rather the amount go towards product than ship costs)! Pretty good haul I think! 🙂

There was something missing from this order. I had selected that it be accompanied with the magnetic closure Sephora “gift box”, I was looking forward to using it for more attractive photographic purposes for this and all upcoming blog posts regarding the contents of this order. I sent them off another email to ask them about it. I found my order confirmation email where the words “gift box” were right there in black and white for their easy reference, and used it for my reply. I got an email back, immediately. They had the nerve to state that I had not included it on my order. Yes, even though it was stated right there. On the same page. On the order confirmation. Just a few inches down. I replied to them stating the obvious, that it is right there on the same page, but I don’t expect a reply at this point. I don’t understand why they didn’t send it, would have been a ton of free advertising as it would have been used in many of the photos for each of the upcoming reviews on all these products. What a missed opportunity for them, shame! EDIT: they sent back another email (was even from the same rep) saying they added 25 points to my account. Seeing as you need at least 100 to get anything I don’t know how this is satisfactory, but again the loss is really theirs – me as a customer and the free advertising they would have received.)

Although I will thoroughly enjoy using and trying out these products, and I am more than grateful for the prize, I am not sure I would ever order from Sephora again. They refuse to let their e-gift certificates to be used in Canada (why? That’s a huge market they’re just shutting out!) and their customer service is at best farcical and at worst dismissive and grossly incompetent. In the future, if I find the need for a high end beauty product, I will see if it is available from *any* other Canadian retailer first, such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, London Drugs, any department store or even order directly from the product’s company website if need be. I don’t think I would ever put myself through ordering online with Sephora again. I am not close enough to a brick and mortar Sephora store for it to be much of a concern as to whether or not I’d go in to buy there.

EDIT: Unbelievably, I have even more disastrous service stories regarding this same order, they failed to refund me as promised and refused to explain why! Full story at the bottom of the post, here.

I did a quick search and there are some seriously horrifying Sephora customer service stories out there! Anyone else have one? I’d be interested to hear it! Also if anyone has any favourite looks with the Naked 2 palette they would like to share I’d be very interested in that as well!

 

Enjoy your week!

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment and Brulee, Swatch and Review!

Wet n WIld Silent Treatment & Brulee

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment & Brulee

I feel so late to the Wet n Wild bandwagon! It’s not available at any stores in my area. I am lucky that my Superstore is now stocking more of these products, and snapped up Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment eye shadows at all of $1.47 and $2.67 respectively! I also grabbed a Night Prowl nail polish at $1.47 which will be swatched at a later date, I’m still enjoying my black and white speckles over red from yesterday’s manicure!

First up, Wet n Wild Brulee. This is a smooth as silk, nicely pigmented, creamy matte nude shade. It is lovely. I can easily see myself using this daily as a brow or blending shade. It matches my skin nicely (NC20/25). Wet n Wild Brulee is also not a bad dupe for MAC Brule, either. Packaging is pretty basic. It’s compact, relatively sturdy, easy to open, provides a clear view of the product and contains 0.06oz/1.7g of shadow. Not too shabby for $1.47!

Wet n Wild Brulee

Wet n Wild Brulee

Wet n Wild Brulee, Back

Wet n Wild Brulee, Back

Next up, Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Coloricon trio. Same basic packaging, only this one is tougher to open. At least I’m assured it won’t be pigmenting the inside of my purse!

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, in Bright Sunlight

 

The browbone shade is a creamy, peachy pink leaning highlighter. I’d more likely use this on my lid for a lighter eyelook, as I don’t like frost on my browbone. This would still work well in the inner corner, however. This shade isn’t too far off from being a dupe for MAC Jest, seems it might be just a bit pinker.

The crease shade is a deep dark cooler tone brown, fairly strongly pigmented. It also contains beautiful copper micro glitter which you can see in the sun. It reminds me a bit of the crease shade on the right side of the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, perhaps a bit warmer brown and slightly better pigment.

The eyelid shade is a pewtery taupe with a hint of brown. It is beautiful. I just tried this against all other similar taupes in my collection and none are as smooth, pigmented, and glowy as this. Cover Girl’s Tapestry Taupe comes close but doesn’t wear as well. Some taupey shades from the Physician’s Formula Nude palette weren’t bad on texture but not as pigmented. The Wet n Wild wins hands down. This eyelid shade may also be a dupe for MAC Satin Taupe, but it seems a bit cooler to me.

Each of these shades were smooth, creamy, buttery, super soft silky-satiny feeling and blended well. They wore comfortably for the day on my eye. Below are the shadows swatched, from top to bottom Wet n Wild Brulee, Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Browbone, Crease and Eyelid shades.

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, No Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, No Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Sunlight

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Sunlight

These were hard to capture properly in the sun but I wanted to show this one anyway as you’re able to see the lovely coppery micro glitter in the crease shade!

Below are the products on my eye. I did not use the browbone shade on my browbone as I can’t stand that area being frosty (and I have a lotta browbone – it’s just too much with frost!) I did however use the browbone shade on the inner coner, and would probably use it alone on the lid as well. I used Brulee on my browbone and the crease and lid shades as they were labeled. I also used a bit of the crease shade wet as a bit of eyeliner.

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Four beautifully pigmented, easily blendable, highly wearable shades for less than $4.25 in total? Incredible! I wish these were available to me sooner!

shut-up-and-take-my-money-9299-2560x16001

With formulations this good at a cost so low, it makes me wonder what other, more well known, more widely available, higher priced brands have been doing with their time in the formulation lab. Perhaps all that extra cost to the consumer is mainly spent on advertising their sub par products, because they don’t sell themselves.

Wet n Wild isn’t advertised here from what I can tell, making it depend on word of mouth and blog posts like these. Well done, Wet n Wild. These eye shadows are fantastic, and they do sell themselves, please keep it up!

L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Revlon Calla Lily, Feather Nail Manicure!

Revlon Greycian Goddess, Calla Lily

L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Calla Lily

I was trapped in the house all day today as I had to be present for the landlord and his perpetual renovation attempts (it’s not going well). I needed something to busy myself that I wouldn’t mind being constantly interrupted from, so I took the opportunity to try out a manicure I’ve been meaning to for a while.

 

 

L'Oreal Greycian Goddess, Revlon Calla Lily

L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Revlon Calla Lily

Products used:

L’Oreal Nail Color in Greycian Goddess 560 (not currently on their Canadian website, possibly discontinued). I received this polish with a lipstick free as some sort of promotion from a Well.ca ages ago. A medium intensity blue leaning grey shade. The creme formula is smooth, covers well in 2 coats and dries reasonably quickly. I love grey nail polishes.

Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Calla Lily. Definitely discontinued. Snatched it up for $1 at my local Dollarama! This shade is beautiful. It is a very sheer milky translucent glitter that is clear enough to use as a top coat. Has lovely gold and pink micro glitter.

Revlon ColorStay clear topcoat. Still available at mass retailers.

 

 

L'oreal Greycian Goddess, Feather

L’oreal Greycian Goddess, Feather

For the feather, I painted on 2 thin coats of L’Oreal Greycian Goddess and applied a feather previously cut to size and gently tapped it down while the polish was still tacky. Applied top coat. That’s it. Far easier than anticipated, I cant wait to try it again!

When I was done painting the rest of the nails grey, I decided it needed more (I didn’t have enough feathers for all nails) so I decided to slap on the Revlon Calla Lily. Overall I’m liking the effect!

L'oreal Greycian Goddess, Revlon Calla Lily, Feather

L’oreal Greycian Goddess, Revlon Calla Lily, Feather

Ever tried feather nails? I can’t believe I waited so long to try! Have a great weekend!