Friday, December 27, 2013

Skindinävia No More Shine Makeup Finish review

Setting/finishing sprays were another thing that I was exploring last Fall and after looking at multiple reviews, I decided to try Skindinävia! My friend's sister and I decided to split The Kit which is a set of their two best sellers - No More Shine Makeup Finishing Spray and Original Makeup Finishing Spray. We decided to get the 8 oz. bottles because it only cost $10 more than the 4 oz. kit! They were also having FREE Shipping & FREE Travel-Size Makeup Finishing Spray for international orders over $40 so it seemed like a really good deal. (This seems like an everyday deal though because it's always on the website, but with a different "now through" date) I wanted to keep the travel size so that I could try both sprays so me and my friend decided to split it according to volume. In the end, one 8 oz. bottle ends up being $27 total! Really awesome deal considering the 4 oz. sells for $29 by itself.

No More Shine Makeup Finish "controls shine and absorbs oil over face and t-zone while preventing makeup slippage. Formulated for oily skin types. For best results: Apply before and after makeup. Spray 2-4 times in an "X" and "T" formation."

I have been using this spray on a regular basis for about 7 months now and it really does seem to help makeup last a lot longer! At first, I would spray it on top after finishing makeup application but now I spray it on before. This seems to work just as well but I find that I actually do get the best results when sprayed before and after application (good thing we chose 8 oz.).

Another plus is that when sprayed after makeup, it helps take away any cakiness! In terms of oil control, I don't think this one really helps at all as I still need to blot after 4-5 hours (which is usual). The only major problem with this is that the nozzle makes spraying it a bit difficult. It's just regular spray bottle but for some reason, it just doesn't come out very well. You cannot cover your entire face with one spray so you are required to make multiple sprays (but 1-2 spritzs is sometimes sufficient). They should change that nozzle with the one they put on the travel size because that one works really well and one spritz can cover your full face. Despite the faulty nozzle, it doesn't really waste much product and even with daily use, there is still half the bottle left.

I have used the Original spray a few times and it performs just as well as the No More Shine. They also have a Bridal Makeup Finish and I think I want to try that next. Hey, not only brides need perfect makeup ;)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Benefit Cosmetics Gettin' Cheeky! review + swatch

Benefit is quickly becoming one of my favourite high-end/Sephora brands. They have really great tints, value kits, mini sized products available, and very attractive packaging. I've only bought 3 Benefit products but I have tried a lot of samples and the Sephora Benefit birthday gift and loved most of it :) The product for review today was actually a birthday gift too, but I was actually contemplating on getting it a while back.

Gettin' Cheeky! is a set of three mini tints: Posietint, Cha Cha Tint, and Sun Beam. Each comes in a little 4.0 mL/0.13 oz. bottle. It is miniature packaging of the full sizes (0.42 oz.) so they also have the nail polish like brush for application. This is a limited edition Sephora exclusive product.

Posietint: Benefit's Posietint is a petal-pink stain that plants a kiss of see-through tint on cheeks and lips. With hours of smudge-proof, just-picked perfection, you'll be the prettiest bloom in the bunch! 

Cha Cha Tint: This mango-tinted stain beautifully blushes lips and cheeks with a tropical sunset hue. Smooch-proof and smudge-proof, this sheer stain will have you looking deliciously sun-kissed for hours.

Sun Beam: Consider this liquid sunshine in a bottle. This golden bronze highlighter gives you a natural, sunkissed radiance. Dot and blend over makeup onto cheek and browbones for a bronzed glow that complements all skintones.

I don't entirely know how to use Sun Beam so I have barely touched that one but I like using Posietint and Cha Cha Tint a lot! Posietint provides a natural flush on your cheeks that seems to last all day (or at least the work day). I mainly use it on my lips and it gives a nice pink tint while still looking very natural so it is a nice MLBB? lol. Cha Cha Tint is also great for the cheeks and stains all day. It's a bit too bright for year round wear so it seems like a more summer shade and I stopped wearing it a couple months ago but will occasionally use a bit on my lips. Both tints are really great and even with daily use, these sizes have lasted me over 3 months. When the bottle finally finishes, I think I will splurge to get Posietint (since I still have another mini Cha Cha Tint). To finish off, here are the swatches:

stains blended out (1 layer)

Sephora had their Benetint as a 100 point perk a few months ago so I snagged two of those! They also have a new Lollitint which looks really gorgeous so I'm thinking of getting that next year to build up VIB status again :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Black Friday 2013 Haul!

This is quite delayed but here is my Black Friday Haul for this year. Since we live in Canada, this is still a new concept for us so the deals are not as great as the States, but it's still better than nothing. I'm not sure when we first got Black Friday, but I remember a few stores having sales last year. I was waiting until my Sephora online order came in to make a post and it did last week so here's my Black Friday haul:

From Sephora:
- Josie Maran Argan Hand Healer
- Lorac Fan Favourite Duo
- Clean Rollerball Set (bought in store)
- Philosophy's purity made simple (bought in store)
- Boscia Pore Perfection Set

These were $12 CAD each and using the VIB 10% off code (V436CB), I got them for $10.80 woohoo! I took this opportunity to buy some gifts for my friend and to let other friends get in on the discount too but most of those are wrapped so no pictures, sorry! The purity was sold out online before I could get on so I went to get it in the store. It was advertised as 12 oz. for $12 so I didn't look at the bottle when I grabbed it. Turns out, I only got 8 oz.! My friend managed to get 12 oz. so it seems like they just ran out of that size. Since they will probably have it again during Boxing Day, I'm going to try to get the 12 oz. then ;) They gave me a sample of Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation, which was nice, but it was in a light shade even though I'm a medium...

This is my haul from other stores (sorry for the Sephora repeats):

- Aritzia's TNA Verbier Parka 10% off
- 3 tops from aerie 40% off entire store + free tote
- Nano Vidal Sassoon hair dryer $10 (returned this because it wasn't hot enough)
- WD Elements 1 TB External Hardrive $59.99 Future Shop door crasher
- Hollister sweater 40% off entire store

Oh I also got about $50 in Lindt chocolate! oops. They were having 50% off boxed chocolate so I got 2 boxes of specialty truffles, a small box each of the snowman truffles and regular milk truffles, as well as 2 boxes of assorted truffles :D

All in all, this seemed like a great haul since I managed to get some clothes and a new winter jacket! Aerie was also giving out a free blanket along with the tote for purchases over $45 but they ran out by the time I got there :( It actually looked like a nice blanket too, which makes me kind of regret not going to the mall at lunch, but at least I got a tote right?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ipsy December 2013 Glam Bag Review

Woohoo, I finally decided to subscribe to a beauty subscription! Since Christmas is coming, I decided to try one bag as a little Christmas treat to myself. I received my Ipsy Glam Bag on the 11th I think and it came in the mail in its usual hot pink metallic bubble mailer. This definitely added to the excitement of getting my first subscription bag!

This glam bag was a black plastic pouch that was nice and sleek looking. It has red inside lining, a diamond texture design and an 'ipsy' zipper pull.

Now for the good stuff! My glam bag this month came with:
- Mirabella Eye Blender Brush ($27)
- POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio in Naturally Bare (approx. $8.08)
- Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Sunset ($16)
- Nicka K New York Nail Color in NY 139 Ripe Apple ($4.99)
- J. Cat Beauty Big Lip Pencil in Caramel Mocha ($3.99)

Total Value = approximately $60

I only tested these products a little bit and so far the Big Lip Pencil seems the most disappointing. The colour is really unflattering and slightly orange like so it really doesn't seem like I'll be using it at all. The One Stick is shade of pink-red and looks like a natural flushed when worn sheer on the cheeks (seems alright for lips too!). The eyeshadow trio has really great neutral colours and is also fairly pigmented. The nail polish was also a bit disappointing since I specifically did not select 'nail colour' in the Ipsy quiz since I really do have a lot :S but it is a nice shade of red that's perfect for the holidays. Lastly, the eye blender brush has really soft bristles but the metal handle makes it a bit too heavy. This is my third blending brush, but I guess you can never have too many? haha

This bag was a good value (since the brush already costs $27) but I feel like this will be my only Glam Bag and I will stick with my plan to unsubscribe. To finish off, here's swatches of the eyeshadow, lip pencil, and bombshell stick:

Left to Right: eggshell, toasted taupe, and cinnamon

Top: J.Cat Beauty The Bit Lip Pencil in Caramel Mocha; Bottom: Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Sunset

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer review + swatch

This product was the one I chose to replace that awful Smashbox Photo Finish Light. I bought this last April during the time Sephora was having their Chic Week so it was 15% off! Whoopee for discounts :) I wasn't very Sephora crazy at that moment (and it was final exam season) so I think that was the only product I bought that term. If I wasn't so busy, I definitely would have taken full advantage of this discount!

"A makeup primer scientifically formulated to achieve the look of flawless skin without makeup."

This primer was definitely a step up compared to Smashbox. At first use, it was very different from the Smashbox one because it has a thicker consistency and is also very nude coloured, therefore making it feel less like a cream. There is no smell to it, so that is also a benefit. When applied, it definitely makes your skin smoother and does seem to minimize pores a bit! I'm not sure where I read this, but someone once said that you need to wait a few minutes for the primer to absorb into your skin before applying foundation so I usually wait 2 - 3 minutes. Another great thing is that you need a really little amount since you don't need to apply it all over your face (I only apply on my T-zone). Even if you did need to apply it all over, it still won't take a lot of product to do that.

In terms of oil control, it does help quite a bit, I'd say it .controls oil for a good 4 - 5 hours but it really does help to keep make-up on my face. I don't think this has reached the standard of "holy grail" for me yet but it was a much needed improvement :D Another benefit of this is that it lasts really long! I've been mainly using this since last April (tried a few primer samples here and there) and there is still half left! It costs $38 so it is still quite pricey, but it seems like a good investment.
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