May 12, 2014

May Empties

Hello Beauty Friends!

This is my FIRST empties post - exciting!

Here are the products that I've emptied recently.  Lots of skincare as you can see - since that's what tends to get used up the most.  I'm not sure if I've ever used up a makeup product actually?  Well - maybe mascara and concealer.

This is a product I purchase over and over again.  It is my favourite nail polish remover.  I re-apply my polish at least weekly so I go through quite a lot of this stuff.  This one is moisturizing and doesn't smell nearly as strong as some other kinds.  And it WORKS!  I buy mine from nailpolishcanada.  Occasionally I find some at Trade Secrets but they don't have a consistent supply (which is very annoying by the way).

I am plagued by dry and itchy skin on my legs in the winter.  I feel like a lizard sometimes!  I go through lots of tubes of this stuff.  It does help.  I always have some on my nightstand and I moisturize every night.  It is only $10 at  GREAT value for money especially as I go through so much of it.  This is definitely a night-time moisturizer.  I feel a bit too sticky to wear it during the day.

I bought this kind of on a whim from Sephora.  I used it most of the winter.  We had a horrible winter here in Ontario - very cold and harsh.  I THINK this helped my skin but I couldn't really say for sure.  It certainly didn't do any harm, but I couldn't say that I saw any specific benefits from it either.  At $52 I won't be re-purchasing.

I have used Clinique skincare products FOREVER.  I love them.  And they love my skin.  I have used most if not all of their eye products at some time or another.  This one is my go-to daytime eye cream.  It has a light tint to it and a cooling metal tip.  I put it under my eyes before my foundation and I don't need to conceal afterwards.  It is a really nice product and I'll definitely re-purchase.

I have used Clinique All About Eyes for a very long time.  Without a doubt this product helps minimize any puffiness or dark circles under my eyes.  They released the rich version a few years ago - and it is lovely as well.  This is my go-to nighttime eye cream and I will definitely re-purchase.  I'll be 40 next year and I don't have any lines or wrinkles around my eyes at all.  I'm sure that it is in part thanks to my Clinique skincare products.

Last but not least is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo.  This is WELL renowned by beauty bloggers and skincare addicts alike.  I purchase it at Shoppers Drug Mart for $26 and you can order it online at for the same price.  This is my go-to daytime moisturizer.  At least, that is how I use it.  It is described as a treatment for acne prone skin.  I find that if I use it under my makeup it stops my pores from getting congested and it prevents any breakouts.  I have very sensitive skin that easily breaks out from lots of makeup or skincare products.  If I didn't protect my skin underneath my makeup, it would be a spotty mess by the end of the day.  This stuff is just awesome.  I've gone through a few tubes!

Hope this gave you some tips on skincare products if you are in the market!


May 9, 2014

Aviendo Natural - New Skincare Company!

Hello Beauty Friends!

Aviendo Natural is a new skincare company in Denmark.  Their premise is all natural, high quality ingredients to take care of your skin.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review some of their products and share my thoughts with you!

I received a day face cream and a toner - two of my favourite types of skincare products as it happens!

AVIENDO natural day face cream

This day face cream is designed to moisturize, firm, and soothe the skin while protecting it from damage.  It contains Shea Butter and Aloe Vera both of which have MANY benefits for the skin.  It does not contain fragrance, irritants or mineral oils.

First Impressions:  The cream is nice and light.  It absorbs quickly.  There is no added fragrance so you smell the ingredients - it smells a bit like tap water.  It goes away as it absorbs - which is very quickly.  I felt a little tightening in the cheeks but not drying.  I had no problem putting my usual primer and foundation over it.  That is usually my biggest challenge with day creams so I am impressed!  I did not feel greasy or sticky or like I had a lot of product on my face.

AVIENDO natural aloe vera soothing face toner

This alcohol-free toner is designed for cleansing and moisturizing the skin.  It can be used daily on all skin types, including sensitive skin.  It is designed for use after cleansing to soothe and re-balance the skin prior to moisturizing.

First impressions:  The dispenser is a pump, not a spray, which dispenses a tiny amount.  I had to pump quite a few times to get enough product on my cotton pad.  It is very, very gentle!  It feels like water - and smells a bit like tap water.  It honestly feels like putting water on your face.  But it definitely removed some residue after cleansing my face - so I can tell that it is working.  It just left a nice refreshing clean feeling, no tingling or dryness at all.  Very nice!  I've used it morning and night after cleansing and really like it so far!

Aviendo is a BRAND new company based in Denmark and the products are not yet launched!  I cannot provide any purchasing details just yet - but be sure to check out their website.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

I'm very excited to start using these lovely products - and I will let you know shortly how they work out for me!

May 8, 2014

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Hello Beauty Friends!

This is a powder I'd been wanting for AGES but couldn't find anywhere.

Finally I found it at my local Shoppers Drug Mart!

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Can you believe that Bourjois has been selling this finishing powder since 1879?  They recently re-vamped it and brought out this adorable vintage packaging.

I read about it on so many beauty blogs and really wanted to try it out myself - so was pretty happy to find it.  It was $20 - so pretty average I think.  It's a loose powder that has a sifter which you can close.

I'm not crazy about the dispensing.  It is a big tricky to work with as it doesn't have a fine sieve on it.  So you have to be sure and tap off your excess powder.  I've been applying it with my MAC 134 powder brush.

It is a nice natural finish with just a hint of pink (which I assume is where they get the "brightening" claim).  It is not shimmery at all on my skin although it does have the tiniest shimmer particles.  It is fine enough that it doesn't crease my under eye concealer.  It is not drying to the skin either which is great.

Apparently this is limited edition - so be sure and grab it while you can!


May 7, 2014

Review: Indeed Labs Exfoliator

Hello Beauty Friends!

Did you miss Sarah's Skincare Week?  You can catch up here:

Here is another skincare product I have been using lately.  It is made by Indeed Labs - the same brand as Hydraluron (the serum raved about by UK skincare guru Caroline Hirons).
I also reviewed it here.  Sarah's Skincare Week:  Serums

Indeed Labs - Exfoliator

This facial powdered exfoliator was released by Indeed Labs this spring.  It is described as a water-activated enzyme micro-powder.  It comes in a shaker-style bottle with a flip top that allows you to pour out a little powder into your hand.
As you apply water, the powder froths up becoming a creamy foam.  It is also really nice when added to the cleanser of your choice (which is how I like to use it).  So if you just want a mild exfoliation in the evening, you can add just a little to your regular skincare cleanser.
I love this product!  I love that I can just add as much as I want and not add an additional step to my skincare routine.
I find it very gentle on my skin yet effective at sloughing away dead skin cells.
It is available for about $20 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

May 6, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

Hello Beauty Friends!

Last week I reviewed the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette - which has now been made permanent.  You can see that post here.

Today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the other Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders I have.

My very first one was Diffused Light, described as soft, warm pale yellow powder.  When these first arrived at my local Sephora, I was excited to swatch them in person since it was hard to tell the shades online.  This shade was the one I liked the best over my foundation - and gave me the most natural finish for my skin tone.  I have used it quite a bit, as you can see from the photo!

During another Sephora visit, I thought I would try some of the other shades; maybe find a slightly warmer colour.  That's when I found Luminous Light, described as a champagne pearl powder.  I like to use this at this time of year, when my skin has a little more colour.  It suits my tanned skin tone and has a little more shimmer to it.  I apply it a little less liberally than I do the Diffused Light because it will add colour to my base.

So considering I was only going to purchase one of the Hourglass powders originally, I now have five different shades!  Oops!  Oh well, I use powder every day - so they won't go to waste.

What do you think of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders?  Do you like them?

May 2, 2014

Hourglass blushes

Hello Beauty Friends!
I could not resist the online excitement around getting these Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes!  Magical words to a beauty blogger "limited edition" or "limited quantities".  Nothing brings more excitement and urge to shop like these words for a  makeup addict - that is for sure!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush
$41 Cdn at Sephora

Sephora describes this shade as a "champagne rose".  ok?  Not sure what that means exactly - but I would describe it as a lovely mid-pink that is very flattering.  It is incredibly easy to apply - virtually blends itself!  That is the first thing I noticed about it.  No matter which brush I used or how I put it on - or where - it just blended seamlessly.  What a beautiful finish this leaves on your skin!  I was smitten.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
$41 Cdn from Sephora

Sephora describes this as a vibrant poppy shade.  I would say it is a much bolder pink, darker in tone, leaning towards reddish coral.  It is much bolder on the cheek than luminous flush but equally as flattering.  It has a little bit more shimmer as well, but is still very wearable.  I thought it blended very well.  A little more powder "kick up" than other blushes I use but not a big problem really.  I know that you have to be very careful with these guys - if you drop them they could shatter - as they are hand made and quite fragile.

These are VERY expensive for blushes, absolutely.  But I've never used a blush like the Luminous Flush.  It is foolproof - truly. 


May 1, 2014

Boots UK haul!

Hello Beauty Friends!

My husband recently went to England and Germany for business - so of course I sent him with a little shopping list!

There are so many things I read about from all the British Beauty Bloggers - that I cannot get in Canada.  So I have an ongoing wishlist of things that I'd like to try.

Here's what I requested - and he was able to get it all at Boots!

And my lovely mother-in-law sent me some wonderful UK fashion magazines!  I love it!

He just got home last night - so I haven't had chance to use all these goodies yet - but I will be sure to share my thoughts!  I am wearing the Manga mascara today - which seems really nice - it applied beautifully - despite the interesting bendy applicator.  Interesting note - the mascaras were double-shrink-wrapped with security bars.  I've never seen that before!  I also used the Bourjois CC Eye Concealer and it went on beautifully.  Such a lovely silicone tip.

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Apr 30, 2014

Face of the Day (FOTD) - Too Faced Chocolate Bar

Hello Beauty Friends,
Just wanted to share my look of the day.  This is a QUICK face - as I was on my way to work.  No highlighting or contouring here.
Here's what I'm wearing

Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette

I've been reading a lot of reviews recently about this eye palette - which was in the back of my drawer.  Not sure why all of a sudden this has become "new again" but it inspired me to reach for it.  I remember why I bought it in the first place now!  The eyeshadows are lovely and perfect for every day.

Estee Lauder Double Wear

The foundation is new to me as well.  I had a sample from Sephora that I wore for a week and I loved it.  I am really picky with foundations.  They need to have full coverage but feel like nothing.  I cannot stand the feeling of anything thick, sticky, or cakey on my face.  I will have the urge to wash it off all day long.  I am LOVING this Estee Lauder Double Wear!  The Sephora Color IQ pulled this shade as a match for me and I think it is perfect.  It just gives such a lovely finish and blends so easily.  I used my beauty blender sponge to apply it.

I've also been leaning more to brown eyeliners lately.  I found this Urban Decay Demolition in my drawer of pencils and it's a perfect dark brown shade.


Apr 29, 2014

Hourglass palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
$67 Cdn at Sephora

Finally!  Hourglass has made this a permanent addition to their line!  I was so disappointed to miss out on it when it launched around Christmas-time.  I have been loving Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders and really wanted this palette!

This palette includes Incandescent Light, a shade exclusive to this palette, and two existing shades, Dim Light and Radiant Light.  So of COURSE I was lusting after the exclusive shade (event though I already have Dim Light).

I'm still playing with the different shades so haven't quite got my perfect "look" figured out just yet.

Here is my bare face - no makeup or powder.  Eeks!  This reminds me of those commercials "this is your brain on drugs".  Anyway - this is my face without makeup.

This is my bare face with just the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light.  It is really hard to show off the effects of these powders on camera.  But I think you can see here that even without makeup, it is blurring imperfections and catching the light so as to make my skin look more radiant.  I have NEVER seen a powder do this!  These powders are incredible.

So here I am again, bare face, no makeup at all.  I have Dim Light on the left (my right), Incandescent Light in the centre, and Radiant Light on the right (my left).  I haven't done anything fancy.  I just buffed them onto my skin with a MAC 134 powder brush.  I didn't even brush my hair for pete's sake (shameful - I know).  I apologize if I scare small children with this photo.  My face is probably still swollen from the dental work I had done.  Ahh - the things we do in the name of beauty - and blogs.

I think you can see here how these powders make the best of your skin!  And for the record - this is the first time I've EVER used a photo of myself without makeup!  I HATE my skin - we have an ongoing battle.

Anyway - if you haven't checked these powders out before - pop into Sephora and try them out for yourself.  They are like an Instagram for your face - for real life!


Apr 28, 2014

My favourite lippies of the week

Hello Beauty Friends,

Today I thought I'd share what my lips have been wearing most often.

I have long been a fan of Tarte LipSurgence chubby lip pencils - and their Amazonian clay blushes (obviously - they are AMAZING).  But I hadn't tried too many of their other products.  This adorable little lipstick caught my eye in Ulta the other week - and I just couldn't resist!

$19 Cdn at Sephora
Described as a reddish pink, this lipstick contains Tarte's moisturizing Amazonian butter and is so soft and lush.  It feels just like a lipbalm but with colour.

You can see in this swatch that the colour is vibrant and has a lovely gloss to it.  I hate lipsticks that are dry or feel dry on your lips.  I like something that is sheer and easy to wear and feels like a lipbalm.
Here you can see what the colour looks like on my lips.  It's a nice bright coraly/ peachy pink that is still soft and sheer.  Perfect for Spring.

$28 Cdn at Sephora
This was another impromptu purchase - at Sephora.  I love the quality of Bite lip products and I love that they are made with 100% food grade ingredients.  When you think how much lipstick you ingest over the course of your lifetime, that is a great thing!
This is a sheer lip tint.  It feels like a lipbalm but with just a hint of colour.  It's perfect when you just need a little something.  Or if you want to apply some quick colour without a mirror, or when driving (not that I ever do that).


Hope that gives you some ideas if you are looking for new lip products!

Apr 25, 2014

all about primers

Hello Beauty Friends!

I hope you enjoyed my skincare week last week!  If you missed it, here are the links:

Today I wanted to share with you my current rotation of primers!

If you don't already wear a primer, it is basically a foundation for your foundation (if that makes sense).  A primer seals in your moisturizer and preps your skin for foundation by filling in any little crevices and lines so that you get a smoother finish and longer lasting result from your foundation.

There are MANY different primers out there - your perfect primer will depend on your skin type and your foundation type as well as what kind of finish you like to have.

I have combination skin with dry areas and areas that get oily mid-day.  I also have very sensitive skin.  I wear a full coverage foundation for work every day (either Lancôme Teint Idole or Bobbi Brown Long Wear).

Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness
$29 Cdn from Sephora

This is a lightweight oil-free primer that offers a little colour-correcting benefit for redness.  I tend to have redness around my nose and chin - so I find this is helpful for that.  I like that it goes on very easily and doesn't clog my pores or feel heavy.  My foundation applies evenly over it.  The only issue I have is if I use a couple of heavy serums or moisturizer and don't let them dry properly.  Then this will "ball" on top and I have to wipe it off.  Otherwise this is one of my go-to primers and I love it.  You can see this tube is almost empty.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
$35 Cdn at Sephora

This is one of my newer primers that I've been using for a couple of months.  I have really been liking Clarins products for my skin recently and so I bought this based on lots of beauty blog recommendations.  It is much thicker in consistency that my Clinique primers and feels like a thick moisturizer when applied.  It melts into skin giving a lovely semi-matte finish to your skin.  It doesn't feel thick or greasy and I've never had it "ball up" on me.  It even looks nice on it's own and gives a great weekend skin finish without foundation as well.  I like this one a lot!

Clinique Superprimer Universal Face Primer
$29 Cdn at Sephora

This is probably my most used primer this month.  I bought it when I finished my colour correcting one.  It feels so lightweight!  It has a slight sheen to it on application and you can see it blurring any imperfections.  It feels like a very light moisturizer and absorbs nicely.  It plays nice with my serums and moisturizers which I love!  For my skin, the Clinique primers are probably my favourite - I have liked them all.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector
$24 Cdn at Sephora

This is a really interesting product.  It's advertised as a pore minimizer and designed for use on your nose and chin to blur pores.  There are lots of these types of products out right now.  It has a light tint to it so is a bit of a concealer as well.  BUT I find that it works beautifully as a primer if you apply lightly all over your face.  It is very similar to Benefit POREfessional in texture and finish but just a little bit lighter in consistency.

Some days I'll wear two primers - one for all over, like the Clinique Superprimer, and then one for my nose & chin which need a little more prep, like this Clinique Pore Refining Solutions or Benefit POREfessional.

I hope this helps give you some ideas if you are hunting for a primer!  I'd love to hear what primers you've tried and like?


Apr 18, 2014

Sarah's skincare week: serums

Hello Beauty Friends!

Welcome to Day Five of Skincare Week:  Serums!

I use a variety of serums, depending on the time of year and condition of my skin.  These are the ones that are in my rotation at the moment.

Indeed Labs:  Hydraluron

$20 Cdn at Shopper's Drug Mart
This is one of my newer additions to my skincare routine.  It is intended to help your serums and moisturizers penetrate your skin more effectively.  I haven't had any dry patches on my nose or chin since using this, so that is a good thing!  I put this on after moisturizer and toner and leave it to dry before moving onto the next product.

Caudalie Vinosource

$52 Cdn from Sephora
This is another hydrating serum.  It feels nice, but I couldn't say that I've noticed a difference in my skin since starting it this winter.  I haven't had any dry skin - so that is good - whether or not it's a result of this serum, I don't know.  I don't think I'll re-purchase it though.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector

$63 Cdn from Sephora
This is my favourite serum and I'm on at least my third bottle.  I had run out and didn't replace it right away.  I noticed that blemishes and marks weren't healing/ fading as fast as when I was using this serum - so I quickly bought some more!  I love Clinique skincare products - I've used them for years - they agree with my skin.  I think this product is definitely worth the money.  I use it morning and night.

Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer

$51 Cdn from Sephora
This is a nice serum from Clinique.  I started using it a while ago just to see how it compared to the dark spot corrector and whether I could get a little more vibrance in my skin overnight.  It is ok, it is softening overnight - but not earth-shattering or anything.  I don't think I'll re-purchase once this bottle is finished.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

$60 Cdn for 1 oz at Sephora
I got this as part of a three-piece trial set from Sephora around Christmas time but never got around to using it.  I dug the products out last week and I have to say I am really liking them!  There is this serum, a  moisturizer, and a night gel.  I think I will be re-purchasing all of them in full size!  This serum gives a little bit of a tingle on application, just enough to show me it's doing something.  It doesn't feel greasy or sticky.  It has a lovely orange scent.  And I know that Vitamin C is terrific for your skin.  I do notice a difference in my skin in the morning - it is more vibrant.  I can tell that this is helping my skin cells turnover during the night.

That's all for my skincare week!  I hope you enjoyed it!  Please share with me your favourite skincare products - I'm always on the hunt!

Next week - I have some primers to review.


Apr 17, 2014

Sarah's skincare week: moisturizers

Hello Beauty Friends!

Welcome to day four of my skincare week - moisturizers!

Morning Routines:  Moisturizer

I try to not use anything too heavy in terms of moisturizer on a daily basis.  I wear full makeup every day and I have combination skin.  This means that if I add a thick moisturizer to the mix, my makeup will be sliding off my face by lunchtime.  I do use a primer - which I'll cover in a couple of days.  But I still keep the moisturizer to a minimum.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
$26 Cdn at

Yes, I know that this is technically a treatment and not officially a moisturizer.  But I find it moisturizing for my skin with the added benefit of helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.  I find this really stops any clogged pores from makeup during the day.  It is nice and light and feels nice on my skin.  It is really great during the monthly hormonal breakouts in helping to minimize the worst blemishes.  It blends in nicely and doesn't leave a greasy feel or film at all.  And my makeup applies really well on top of it.

If it's the weekend and I'm not going to wear makeup for some reason (strange - but possible) then I might wear a heavier duty daytime moisturizer.  Some of the ones I have and use are:
Clinique Youth Surge
Clinque Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Evening Routines:  Moisturizer

In the evening, I usually apply Avene TriAcneal Skin care after cleansing and toning.  This helps treat any breakouts/ blemishes/ scars/ dark spots overnight, under my moisturizer.  I think this works really well and I've been super impressed with it!

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
$54 Cdn at Sephora

This is another product from Clinque that I've used for ages.  I really like it.  It's a nice rich night time moisturizer that doesn't feel greasy or heavy.  It applies well over any other treatments I use and absorbs quickly so I don't feel like an oil slick.  In the morning my skin always feels soft and moisturized.

So that's it from me on moisturizers!  Join me tomorrow for
Day Five - Serums!


Apr 16, 2014

Sarah's skincare week: eye creams

Hello Beauty Friends!

Welcome to day three of Sarah's skincare week!

See Day Two:  Toners

Today is the next step in my skincare routine - that is eye creams!

I always debate whether to try new things in my skincare routine or not.   On one hand - I don't actually have any fine lines or wrinkles - which for 39 I think is pretty good.  So does this mean that my current products are doing their job and preventing them?  Or would I see more results from some other products?  I don't know.  But in the meantime, Clinique skincare products tend to do pretty well for me.  They always feel nice on my skin.  I never feel greasy or like my pores are clogged/ congested.  And my makeup is easy to apply on top of the products - which is an issue I've had when trying other brands.  I'm sure I'll still experiment with other products - but these are some of my tried-and-true loves.

Morning Routines - eye care

In the morning, I use two types of products - one to relieve any puffiness or bags if I didn't sleep well (or if I watched a sad movie and cried before bedtime).  Then I use a soothing moisturizer which helps my makeup to apply more easily.

$34 Cdn at Sephora

I love this eye serum.  I've lost count of how many I've gone through over the years.  It really does take away any puffiness you might have under your eyes in the morning and is very refreshing.  It is really gentle and absorbs quickly.  It isn't at all greasy and doesn't get in the way of makeup.  I don't use it every day - only when I need it.

Clinique even better eyes dark circle corrector
$49 Cdn at Sephora

I apologize for the condition of this bottle - but you can see how much I've used and loved it!  This is at least my second tube.  I use this every day as my daytime eye cream.  It has a very slight tint to it, which helps prime your under eye area for concealer.  I don't think it is incredible at covering dark shadows - which I get very rarely.  But it is a nice moisturizer.  I just picked up a Clarins eye cream - so I'll see if it is any better.

Nighttime routines:  eye care

At night I like more heavy duty treatment and very rich moisturizers to work on my skin overnight.  So I use different products for my eyes as well.

Ole Henriksen truth is in the eyes:  an eye peel
$52 Cdn at Sephora

This is a REALLY cool product that works so well!  I apply this under my eyes after cleansing and toning.  Let it dry.  Then apply eye cream over it.  In the morning you will not believe how soft and renewed the skin is under your eyes!  It is a great product - well worth the investment.

Clinique all about eyes rich
$37 Cdn at Sephora

This is another product that I have used FOREVER - since I was a teenager.  This rich version is newer and much thicker than the original (which I loved as well).  It is just a great, gentle moisturizer.  I cannot fault it.  I have super sensitive eyes and have to be really careful what I use in that area.  I've never been able to use contact lenses and I have difficulties with a lot of mascaras.  So I like that this never bothers my eyes.

So that's it for me on eye creams!

Join me tomorrow for moisturizers!