September Empties with Mini Reviews!

September Empties!

September Empties!

How was everyone’s September? New schools? New jobs? September was a hugely busy month for me, full of workshops and interviews, and next month will be even busier as I am to be starting a new job with long hours. I think I will only be able to post on weekends, sadly. I did manage to get through some items this month however! I will go through them one by one as numbered in the photo below, left to right, and add in some mini reviews and applicable links to previous reviews and the like.

Empties_Sept_2014_Numbered

 

1) Coppertone SPF 60 Continuous Spray Waterproof Sunscreen

Not that anyone should need any extra reasons to wear sunscreen at all times, but I am allergic to the sun. A few minutes of unprotected sun exposure and I’m stuck with an itchy hives reaction that can last for weeks (this is known as Polymorphic Light Eruption). So I keep my face, hands, and any other exposed skin covered at all times. I grabbed this one as not only was it on sale, but I liked the idea of a waterproof formula to make sure it sticks on during a potentially sweaty summer day when I am unable to reapply. The product was an easy to use spray on. It did leave a sticky feeling however, presumably from whatever ingredient in it makes it waterproof. I didn’t mind this until I noticed every speck of dirt and dust I walked past stuck to my skin and was hard to wash off! The scent was also somewhat strong to me, something typically beachy with a splash of light floral and a side of chemicals. If you’ve smelled Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance, which supposedly was also intended to be beachy, it smells like that. Due to the stickyness and scent, I would not rebuy. I did like the spray on aspect, but I think I will stick to cream formulas thought winter. Will not rebuy.

2) Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black

This, for reasons that entirely escape me, has been discontinued in Canada. I believe it is still available in the US. This has been my HG mascara for for twelve or thirteen years maybe. It builds well to great volume and length, doesn’t flake (until the tube gets a bit old and dried up), leaves my lashes soft and pliable with no spiky, spidery lash attributes, and is in fact waterproof. Not too hard to wash off. I am down to one last stashed away tube, after that there’s no more here to be found in Canada. I will miss it! If there are any US readers who would like to enable my Full ‘n Soft addiction I would be more than receptive to the idea! I would rebuy but it doesn’t exist here.

3) Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel

A zesty, sparkling citrus scent with notes of ginger and water lily. A slight musky base. I liked this enough to use as a shower gel and diluted in my foamy hand soap dispensers as detailed in this post. It was nice and refreshing. I don’t think I liked it enough to rebuy. I think this would make a great scent for a laundry detergent or a room spray or candle.

4) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Shampoo Sample

This shampoo has an interesting texture in that it is more of a thick, gel like formula and not at all liquid. It didn’t pour out. I used this by squeezing out little jelly blobs. I liked this far more than I usually like Pantene products, probably because the formula was so, so different. I did a good job, and my hair didn’t feel limp afterwards when dry. Even the scent is better than usual Pantene offerings, reminds me more of something Fructis might make. Worth noting is that sodium laurel sulfate is it’s primary surfactant, which some people can have sensitivities to. I’m usually ok with it if I don’t use it too many days in a row, otherwise my scalp gets itchy. I would consider buying this if I found it at a great price and needed shampoo at the time.

5) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Conditioner Sample

Like it’s shampoo counterpart, this formula was completely different than Pantene’s other conditioner offerings. In fact, the formula reminded me a lot of Tres Emme’s, which is my go to every day conditioner and has been for years. This did the job well and smelled pretty good. I would consider buying if it were at a great price and I needed conditioner at the time, but I can’t see it ever being any better or cheaper than my $4 a liter Tres Emme. But good job an this new shampoo/conditioner, Pantene.

6) John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo Sample

I didn’t notice any lightening. The formula didn’t lather well, and had a strange chemical undertone to the scent. Would not buy. Seemed almost indistinguishable, aside from the colour from it’s purple tone correcting counterpart I reviewed in my last empties post. Says it’s ammonia and peroxide free. How is this intended to lighten?

7) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

Also known as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream Night depending on where you buy it from. This is a retinol treatment I have used for a year now and do not intend on stopping, unless I upgrade to a higher dose of retinol. There is still a couple of uses left in this tube, but I felt it would be an important addition to my empties post to demonstrate how long this little 40ml tube lasts. My last empty tube made an appearance in my debut empties post back in May, so I get at least four months worth of use out of one tube. I buy this when it’s on sale for about $16-17 Canadian, so I get my retinol treatments and results for less then $5 a month. Amazing. I’ve done a very in depth full review as well if you’d like to check it out. I will rebuy this until they stop making it, which I hope is never.

8) Diorskin Forever Flawless Perfection Wear Makeup SPF 25 Sample

I don’t have the little Sephora bag that had the label on it, but I believe this was in shade #010. I went into Sephora asking for samples of foundation of longer wearing, SPF bearing formulas, and this was the winner. It is basically perfect. Coverage was impeccable, it lasted all day in humid weather, no smudging, smearing, or transferring. I found I only needed extra concealer on my dark under eye circles when I used this. The finish is skin like, and just matte enough. I would buy this, but at the atrocious price of $49 Canadian that won’t be happening. I won’t feel too bad about asking for more samples however, after what Sephora put me though, and use it on occasions I need my skin to look nicer.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and productive September! I’m looking forward to October and all the spooky stuff (and candy) it brings with it!

Maybelline Golden Halo Swatch & Review!

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Hi! I haven’t done an eyeshadow post in a long while, and although I should have some others coming up soon (pending delinquent Sephora order) I wanted to start with something golden and summery! I have a few golds, and ultimately I’d like to review them all then compare at the end.

Maybelline Golden Halo 270S is from their Expert Wear Modern Metallics line. I haven’t had the opportunity to try any other offerings from the line but I hear Chai Latte is pretty popular. I managed to grab this one for just over $1 when the store I was at had them on clearance, presumably to make room for the repackaged eyeshadows. I haven’t yet tried anything from the repackaged line so I am unable to say if they are of the same formula, so I will only speak for this one. The packaging version I have has narrower tapered ends, the newer ones are squared off all around.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

The formula on this one really surprised me. I expected a drier, grainier finish. But what I got was super smooth, pigmented and blendable. The golden shade is somewhat brassy or coppery on me in some lighting, but appears more of a neutral gold with slight green leanings in others. I didn’t need to try very hard to get the intense pigment on these swatches! Here it is in a few different lightings.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

I tried this on alone (no other eyeshadow) with a tiny bit of mascara. It looks like I had something else in the crease, but I didn’t. That’s just the same shadow blended lightly through the crease and my own deep set eye socket shadow showing up there, making it look dark. I just used the sponge applicator it came with as it seemed to do the job well as it was so buttery soft. It was far more well blended in person, the shimmer in it reflected the camera flash in a way that gave it a harder edge in photos.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

This lasted all day on me with very minimal creasing and still looked fresh when it came time to take it off! If you’re looking for a golden shadow for summer on a budget, try this one out. Bear in mind it’s slight orangey leanings might make it more suited to warm toned skin. I’d like to try more of these singles out, but I don’t think I’ll catch a sale like that again!

Have a great weekend!

Elf Liquid Eyeliner Swatch & Review!

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

I found this unassuming little treat at a new local dollar store for all of $1.50. It was hidden way up high in a wall crammed full of miscellaneous beauty accoutrements, trying hard not to be seen. Elf (eyes lips face) cosmetics are another one of those things that I have a hard time obtaining locally, so I was pretty eager to try this out, especially at that price. I tried it out today with a very simple eye look for a test run to see how it would hold up, as I’ve found mixed reviews online.

The bottle itself is a pretty standard liquid eyeliner container in that it has a tapered wand with a wider base. The brush is thin with fine hairs, and is not a felt tip. This might prove a little more tricky to handle for someone new to liquid eyeliner but others should have little trouble with it.

elf liquid eyeliner brush

elf liquid eyeliner brush

I noticed the back of the package carding noted “smudge-proof liquid liner” twice. Perhaps a printing error is what landed this batch in the dollar store as liquidated salvage stock? It also noted on the card that elf is a charity supporter (didn’t mention which) and that they do not test on animals.

elf_liquid_eyeliner_back

The product applied smoothly, was fluid enough to spread easily but not so liquid as it got everywhere. It dried reasonably quickly for me but I only used a thin coat. The colour was a deep black and dried to a semi matte finish. Just barely shiny enough to not look flat. Definitely not glossy. Below are single swipes on my arm, one with a light hand, one heavier.

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, wet

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, wet

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, dry

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, dry

I applied this product with a simple eye look for a trial run for the purpose of this review. I made sure to pick a few favourites that I already knew would perform well so I could give the elf eyeliner a fair shake. Products used:

-Wet n Wild eyeshadow single in Brulee on browbone

-Maybelline  Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe in crease

-NYC City Curls mascara in Extreme Black (a lovely, velvety plush finish that wears well, all for less than $3 so of course it’s suddenly not available here anymore >.<)

-Revlon Satin eyeshadow in Nude Slip on lid (a beautiful shimmery peachy neutral with a gorgeous, buttery texture, so of course it’s discontinued and in my Holy Grail Graveyard)

-Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in a small foil sample pack I received in a magazine. I’m a little on the fence with this one. I like the texture but I am unsure about the finish, coverage, and wear time.

elf_liquid_eyeliner_others

Other products used

I’ve been wearing this a few hours now, no smears, smudges or flakes. I have oily eyelids and wasn’t expecting it to perform this well! After it was well set, I ran the swatches on my arm under water, and it didn’t move. There was still residue after using soap, but it removed easily with a makeup remover wipe. I will update if things go south with this eyeliner before the end of the day! EDIT: My Color Tattoo eyeshadow faded before this eyeliner, which was still going strong somewhere past the 12 hour mark. I am pretty damn impressed!

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

Final verdict? LOVE IT. It is well worth the crazy low buck fifty. I plan on buying the rest of the stock – if there’s any left – as it seems everything I like is discontinued or impossible to find immediately after I declare my undying love. Why do I keep scaring these great products away! *dramatic sigh*

I also wanted to share this card that came in a recent ebay purchase with you 🙂

have_a_nice_day

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Barely Branded Swatch & Review!

Maybelline Barely Branded

Maybelline Barely Branded

I may seem a bit belated by reviewing this one a year or so after everyone else, but it actually took me this long to get my hands on it! I have a small collection of Maybelline’s other Color Tattoo offerings, but Barely Branded was always sold out and impossible to find in my small town. Glad to finally have it to wear and review today, it’s about time!

Maybelline Barely Branded Sunlight

Maybelline Barely Branded Sunlight

The verbosely named Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal By Eyestudio 24 hour Eyeshadow in 70 Barely Branded is a cream style shadow in a sturdy, higher end feeling glass jar. The shade is clearly labeled on the lid, and easy to see through the bottom of the glass jar making your desired shade easy to find no matter which way you store it.

Maybelline Barely Branded Shade

Maybelline Barely Branded Shade

The formula is a smooth, soft, cream, and easy to apply with either fingers or a synthetic brush. Barely Branded is a warm leaning cream/beige shade, with tiny flecks of golden micro glitter and blends into my NC20/25 skin nicely. I could see this looking too frosty for every day on very dark skin tones, but it might blend in beautifully on yellower skin tones. It sets within a couple of minutes, allowing you to sheerly blend it out however much you like, and once its set, it is SET.  On my oily eyelids it is on for the whole day, however it does wash off with my regular facial wash at the end of the day. If you wanted to use this as a base for a powder eyeshadow, you will want to work fast while this product is still tacky.

Maybelline Barely Branded Swatch

Maybelline Barely Branded Swatch

I have included a super close up of my eye with Barely Branded on to show that it doesn’t look too frosty once applied and that it blends out well. Maybelline Barely Branded is applied by finger on the lid and inner corner, with a bit of Tough as Taupe from the same line lightly buffed into the crease. Although a synthetic brush is generally better for cream products, I find that a natural fiber eye shadow brush picks up just the right amount of Tough as Taupe and blends it out far more smoothly for crease shading, so I make the exception when I am using that one in the crease. Also applied is Maybelline cream eyeliner in brown and Cover Girl Professional Mascara, waterproof, also in brown (another old favourite – starting using that over 20 years ago!). I would use this super fast and easy eye look with one of my brighter, redder, or darker lip shades.

Maybelline Barely Branded on eye

Maybelline Barely Branded on eye

I love these cream eye shadows by Maybelline. The only one I have slight issue with is the Bold Gold, which looks a bit too flaky on my lid. I have also read about others complaining of these drying up. I’ve had most of mine since they came out and although drier, they can still be applied. This might have something to do with me living in a more humid area.

Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadows are available in drugstores and grocery stores in Canada. I found mine for $6.99 however they are usually priced around $10.99. They are made in the US and contain 0.14oz, or 4g. So glad to finally have this one, I’m going to get a lot of use out of it!

Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara Review

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara

I have been hunting a daily use, dependable through any situation holy grail mascara (in drugstore price range) for a while now, since my beloved Maybelline Full N’ Soft Waterproof is now impossible to find (discontinued, as far as I can tell). I snap up whatever stragglers are left of that mascara I find, in any colour they have on the rare occasion I do see it, that’s how much I love it. Very grateful to have a couple of them stashed away!

One of my favourite attributes of the Full N’ Soft was that it did remain soft and flexible to the touch after it dried, even after several coats. It felt wonderfully comfortable and nothing else I have tried felt the same. After describing this to my mother, she recommended I should try this Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara saying it had the same soft, non crispy crunchy feel when dry.

 

I’ve given this mascara a thorough testing now and have determined it’s not bad! Not quite as good as my Full N’ Soft but the closest in texture I’ve tried yet. I have the shade “Very Black”. The colour is decent, a deep velvety matte black that doesn’t go greyish or muted as some tend to do. The formula dries quickly, build well, if not a little bit spidery. I gave this mascara a tough test on a day where I did some rather industrious cooking and cleaning, and no flakes nor smudges! I was impressed, especially considering this formula isn’t waterproof. Shown is my eye with Maybelline the Mega Plush Volum’ Express on my lashes, no eye shadow or liner so you can see how it performs on it’s own.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara on Eye

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara on Eye

About the brush: it is an oversized bushy brush on a bendy, flexible wand. I’m undecided about it. It does deliver product evenly and effectively, so no problems there, however it really is a huge brush. That might work well for some eye shapes, however mine are a bit deeper set, making application more susceptible to smudging and smearing. I have to be extra careful to make sure this doesn’t happen. This large brush does hold enough product to do all my lashes with one go, top and bottom and then again over the top, without dipping back into the tube, which I suppose is a nice time saving feature on a rushed morning, or for someone who doesn’t wish to fuss about. Shown here is the brush with a measuring tape so you get an idea how large it really is.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara Brush

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara Brush

Wondering about the value of the flexible brush. I can see how it might be handy to scrape out the last bits of mascara from the sides of the tube. The large, oversized brush on a flexible wand might become even more unwieldy however. It’s tricky enough to maneuver a huge brush without the added difficulty of it bending, flexing and smooshing as you apply, making it a potentially messier application. Below is a picture demonstrating the flexible brush.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara Bursh, Bent

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara Bursh, Bent

Is it life changing? No of course not, it’s a mascara. However if you are looking for a mascara that is still soft and flexible when dry, with minimal flaking, that washes off easily with your regular facial wash and water in the drugstore price range, this is worth checking out! For a review on some higher end mascaras, please check out my mascara sampler review here!

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara

Irish Eyes! Maybelline New York Eyeshadow Quad in Emerald Smokes Review and Swatch

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

It’s not too often I can think of a reason to wear emerald green eyeshadow and have it be completely right for the day so I grabbed this opportunity to test and review Maybelline New York’s eyeshadow quad in Emerald Smokes. I grabbed this a few months ago on clearance for $1.44!  Maybelline has changed their packaging since, which I suspect is why it was on clearance as it hasn’t been discontinued. Not sure if they have also changed the formula as well. They have more squared off packaging now as compared to the ones with tapered ends as shown below.

Maybelline Emerald Smokes

Maybelline Emerald Smokes

The quad has 4 green shades, marked 1 through 4 as follows:

1) Base – a pale shimmery golden ivory that leans just ever so slightly to green. This blends into my NC 20/25 skin fairly well but I’d imagine it might not translate well on very dark skin tones.

2) Lid – a shimmery golden olive/khaki green shade, which is always a favourite for me. I think almost anyone could make a wash of this shade work with their skin.

3) Crease – a deep shimmery forest green. This shade leans cooler than the rest of the pan and might be harder to pull off for some skin tones.

4) Liner – a deep, dark green black with gold glitter flecks.

The pigment was best with the lid and crease shades, and the base and liner shades had some fallout but nothing I couldn’t make work for me.

Emerald Smokes Outdoor Light Swatch

Emerald Smokes Outdoor Light Swatch

Emerald Smokes Indoor Light Swatch

Emerald Smokes Indoor Light Swatch

There are directions on the back on how they want you to apply them. I usually ignore them, but for the sake of giving the product a more thorough review as it is presented I went along with it. The only change I made was to not apply the “base” all over the whole lid first as I thought it would wash out and muddy the other shades. I still applied this lightly as brow highlight and in the inner corner.

Emerald Smokes on Eye, Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes on Eye, Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes on Eye Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes on Eye Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes on Eye Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes on Eye Outdoor Light

Emerald Smokes Indoor Light

Emerald Smokes Indoor Light

The bottom picture is taken in indoor lighting for reference.

I applied these over a light base of Maybelline Fit Me foundation for both eyes and swatch, and used a couple coats of my beloved, impossible to find Maybelline Full n’ Soft mascara which I really hope isn’t discontinued. There is a small amount of MAC’s Powersurge Eye Kohl in the inner rim.

Overall these eyeshadows surprised me. I did not expect green shades to be as flattering as they were. The applied and blended out relatively well. I have had this on for a few hours while doing some things around the house, and no creasing on my oily lids yet! The swatches on my arm removed easily with a makeup remover wipe. For the price I paid, I am really impressed. If you are interested in having shades like these in your collection and find it on a deal (I would never pay the $8.99 CA they are usually) then give it a try!

Have a great St Patrick’s Day everyone!

Sláinte!!

Maybelline Emerald Smokes Indoor Light Pan

Maybelline Emerald Smokes Indoor Light Pan