Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatches, review, photos

Thursday, October 20, 2016


The product: Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick

The formula: The Matte Revolution formula (which I’ll describe the wear of shortly) is a “luminous modern matte” that promises long-lasting, hydrating, buildable colour with lipstick tree and orchid flower extract. It’s available in 10 shades, and it definitely holds up to its claims: it’s easy to build, and it wears very well for a matte lipstick.

These lipsticks also feature a square tip to mimic the shape of a lip brush, which I thought was really cool. (And hey, it works well, too!)



The shade: The Queen, inspired by Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, is a “rich and rosy crown-jewel pink.” It’s a deep fuchsia pink with blue undertones that practically glows, and it’s obscenely beautiful in a matte finish.

Of course, my favourite thing about Charlotte Tilbury is that they simulate their swatches on a wide variety of different skintones–none of that “three skintones covers everyone” business. These are shown on ten models of different skintones, ages, and ethnicities, and the result (which I’ve collaged above) is both helpful and gorgeous!


Wearing The Queen (and otherwise looking a mess)


Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight


Charlotte Tilbury The Queen Matte Revolution Lipstick swatched in indirect sunlight

The wear: The Matte Revolution lipsticks are very pigmented, and they have an even, forgiving matte finish. Though they look like soft mattes, they feel as hydrating as an opaque cream lipstick. I get 3-6 hours of wear with these lipsticks, depending on how much eating I do; today, The Queen held up through an entire coconut milk smoothie with only very minimal fading and was still going strong by dinner.

Optimally, I’d recommend reapplying every 3-4 hours with this formula for comfort, but if you leave it on undisturbed, the vivid colour will hold up for longer.


The verdict?

I really like the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula, which is as hydrating and comfortable to wear as a great creme-finish lipstick. I was also totally smitten with The Queen, which is a flattering, eye-catching opaque fuchsia pink.

If you’re looking for a comfortable holiday lipstick, this range is definitely one to check out!

Availability: $32 USD/$38 CAD exclusive to Charlotte Tilbury online.

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This is how happy Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash makes me… | One in, one out

Monday, October 17, 2016


How happy does this much Aveeno’s Skin Relief Chamomile Body Wash make me? Well… about this happy:

Happier than fresh beaver tails pastries at a food truck. Happier than fresh-cut grass and a warm summer day. Happier than watching ducks splash around in pools of water. Happier than – okay, almost as happy as a little kid playing with a puppy dog.


These are a few of my ride-or-die skincare products: Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash, and their Fresh Essentials Moisturizer SPF 30.

I have hella dry skin that’s intolerant to silicones, as I’m sure all of my longtime readers know by now, and these two products really help get me sorted. The Skin Relief Body Washes smell amazing and leave my skin more hydrated than it was before soaping up (they’re like in-shower body moisturizers that cleanse), and they’re so good that both Boyfriend and I swear by them.


Daydreaming about chamomile body wash showers…

During my post-shower routine, the Fresh Essentials Moisturizer provides me with daytime SPF 30 coverage at a really affordable price point. I need to add a couple drops of serum or oil to it when I apply, but it’s well worth the extra step–and for that matter, I have yet to find any moisturizer with SPF that I can use on its own.

I’m on my second bottle of Fresh Essentials Moisturizer and my third bottle of the Skin Relief Body Wash, so when I say that this is good stuff, I mean it!

Deciem The Ordinary reviews: Rose Hip Seed Oil, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Thursday, October 6, 2016


The products: DECIEM The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed OilNiacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

If you haven’t been introduced to The Ordinary yet, well, prepare to be floored. The Ordinary is Deciem’s brand new range of “clinical formulations with integrity,” and they’re anything but ordinary.

The line features incredibly affordable clinical products in order to bring communication and pricing integrity back to the skincare industry. Like any other Deciem product, they are Canadian, cruelty-free, and celebrate innovation and honesty.

» YES, REALLY: The Ordinary is priced at $4.90 CAD-$14.80 CAD for full-sized products. They ship for free, clearly display their ingredients and technologies online, and don’t skimp on the quality.


The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($9.90 CAD)

This is my fourth rose hip seed oil of the year, and it is the only one that I’ll be repurchasing. I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that this rose hip seed oil is $5.80/oz (Pai’s blend is $39.43/oz), but I’m beginning to be able to wrap my head around it.

Rosehip seed oil is a rather fragile oil, but it’s a marvel for the skin: it’s full of fatty acids, antioxidants, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and vitamins C and A. As a result, Deciem have sourced only cold-pressed rosehip oil for this product, and packaged it in UV-resistant amber glass.


Depending on the source, crop, and processing, rosehip seed oil can vary greatly. The Ordinary’s rosehip seed oil has a rich, buttery yellow hue and an almost fish oil-like scent. It sinks right into my dry skin and is very hydrating without clogging my pores.

In short, it’s beautiful–and a total steal. I’ve been very disappointed in the other budget-friendly rosehip seed oils that I’ve tried, but my skin loves this one! I’ve been using it solo at night and blended with L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil during the day for the ultimate makeup base/nighttime glow combination.


The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90 CAD)

My skin typically also adores niacinamide, so I knew I had to try this out as soon as I first read about it. I wanted to really put it through its paces for this review, though, so I had Boyfriend test it out.

He has oily skin that’s been hella breaking out recently, so I’ve been making him use this in place of his serum and moisturizer for the past two weeks. (For anyone with normal or dry skin, please make sure to layer this with a separate moisturizer!) Niacinamide and zinc PCA are not treatments for acne, as Deciem points out, but they reduce the look of blemishes and help balance sebaceous activity.


Inflammation and redness play a big role in acne, which is why niacinamide works so well for many people. This 10% solution was no exception: within two weeks, I watched A’s hairline breakout go from an angry red patch to something almost invisible.

The skin around his beard looks less red than usual and now has ZERO visible blemishes, and while the rosehip oil was enough to stop my breakout in its tracks (I was breaking out due to dryness), I’m looking forward to using this on my skin in the future, too.

Also: how good is the note in Deciem’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% description? I totally cracked up when I read it. I can totally see some crotchety young scientist furiously typing it out in the dark, and then passive-aggressively editing it the next morning! (You show ’em, Deciem.)


The verdict?

I literally can’t believe that Deciem can buy glassware at these prices, much less full-on formulations… but they did, and they have. It’s frightening to see how much other companies mark up their skincare products, and I love Deciem all the more for making a statement with this range.

Even more than that, however, I love how accessible this makes good skincare. These are less than drugstore prices, but the products and development are of department-store quality. I would recommend both of these products in a heartbeat, and I will be purchasing additional products soon.

Availability: $4.90 CAD & up at Deciem. Shipping is free to Canada, the US, and the UK, with more locations coming this month.

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Feels Like a Facelift Anti-Ageing Mud Masque, Purifying Cleanser reviews, photos

Monday, October 3, 2016


*sponsored post

The products: Feels Like a Facelift Purifying Cleanser and Anti-Aging Mud Masque

Ever wonder what would happen if you put a pharmacist, a Canadian business, and rooibos tea in a box and blended them all up? Well, assuming that the blending was metaphorical, you’d probably end up with something a little like Feels Like a Facelift.

(Please, please, please make sure that all country-person-plant blending is metaphorical.)


The Purifying Cleanser ($19.95 CAD)

I’ll be honest with you: initially, I wasn’t super psyched to try this line. I’m not crazy about the way that it’s marketed, or the way that it’s packaged.

It turns out, however, that the Feels Like A Facelift range contains some pretty killer ingredients, many of which the skincare industry knows and loves. Ingredients like shea butter and rooibos extract, as well as hyaluronic acid and CoQ10. They’re a small Canadian company, and they’re based out in beautiful BC.

Their cleanser is a foaming cleanser, enriched with chamomile, ginkgo, comfrey, and rooibos extract. It also tones and removes makeup, and would be best for someone with oily skin.


The Anti-Aging Mud Masque ($34.95 CAD)

Prepare yourselves for a tiny rave about this mask, because I LOVE the way it smells. It’s packed with so much rooibos extract and green tea that it literally smells like green tea perfume, even though it has no added fragrance. The whole thing is based in Canadian glacial clay, and it’s really easy to use: you apply a thin layer twice a week, let it dry for 12 minutes, and rinse off.

I will, admittedly, not be finishing my pot of this. Instead, it’s going to Boyfriend, because he’s a lucky duck and he’s pushing 30, so he needs it. The clay-based formula is much better suited to his breakout-prone ageing skin, and let’s be honest: boys love getting pampered, too.

(And okay, I’ll still win either way because we always mask as a couple, and I’m totally going to sniff his face while he’s applying this. It smells THAT good.)

Availability: Feels Like a Facelift can be found at all London Drugs locations, ordered by phone, or tracked down at select Pharmasave and Save-On Foods locations.


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Pür Minerals Strobe/Highlight Palette review, swatches | Sun-Kissed Glow, Moonlight Glow, & Glow Together

Thursday, September 29, 2016


The products: Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow & Moonlight Glow; Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer

It’s tough to find creme cheek products that aren’t full of ‘cones, so when I found not one, but SIX shades of cruelty-free shimmering creme highlighters this summer, I was pretty thrilled.

They’re by one of my favourite brands, of course: Pür Cosmetics. (Or Pür Minerals? I’m never sure what to call them anymore.)


The Pür Moonlight Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CAD) is the cooler variation of Pür’s summer strobing palettes, and it’s the one that I’ve gotten the most use out of. I’m pretty sure that it’s meant to be some sort of highlighter/colour/bronzer combination, but I use the yellow Twilight and peachy Lunar the most – the bronze Eclipse never sees any use.

(Why would I want my contour to shimmer??? Or my bronzer, for that matter?)

The Strobe & Highlight Palettes have a fairly dry creme texture with a powder finish, and I like the level of shimmer in them. I think I would have preferred a glossier base, just because I prefer my creme products to have an inherent sheen to them, but I can see why Pür chose to go in a different direction: powder finishes wear much, much better.


Pür Cosmetics Sun Kissed Glow (first 3), Moonlight Glow (last 3) Strobe/Highlight Palette swatches


Pür Minerals Sun-Kissed Glow

The warm-toned Sun-Kissed Glow Strobe & Highlight Palette ($34 USD/$ CADis equally as pretty, with Aurora, Solar, and Dusk from left to right, but I think it’s better suited to darker, warmer-toned complexions. All three shades are pretty bronzey, Moonlight Glow features more of an ivory, pink pearl, and cool copper palette, Sun-Kissed Glow is more golden, coral, and orange-bronze. 

Both of these palettes feature a light, fruity scent which is kind of fun to use! I know it makes me kind of a monster, but I’m a fan of scented cheek products–when it’s done well.


Finally in Pür Minerals’ summer collection, the Glow Together Jumbo Matte-Shimmer Bronzer ($34 USD) is a warm striped bronzer with both matte (upper) and shimmer (lower) tones. A portion of the proceeds from all Glow Together purchases will be donated to Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization who aim to feed the many!


The verdict?

If you love creme highlighters but struggle (like I do) to find silicone-free ones, then keep an eye out for these palettes at your local Shopper’s. They deliver a subtle, glowy highlight that looks great both indoors and out, and their powder finish and fruity scent make for a lovely morning pick-me-up.

The one thing that I did notice about these palettes is that, while they wear well, they’re not particularly bold – if you want a really obvious, metallic highlight, you’re better off finding a buttery powder (like the NYX Strobe of Genius palette).

Availability: All $34 USD each at Pur Cosmetics & in-stores at select Shopper’s Drug Mart locations. Limited edition.

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Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation review, swatches, photos | R210, Y215, Y225

Friday, September 23, 2016


The product: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation in R210 Pink Alabaster, Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and Y225 Marble

I’ve reviewed quite a few silicone-free foundations that I’ve loved recently, but each and every one of those reviews has come with some small caveat or another.

Not today, Satan!


The promises: The new Make Up For Ever Water Blend foundation is an updated, silicone-free version of their classic Face & Body foundation. (Yes, the one with the fun gel texture that makeup artists are constantly raving about!) Water Blend Face & Body is formulated with 80% purified water, pro-vitamin B5, glycerine, and mango butter.

It promises a buildable application, a dewy glow, and a waterproof, transfer-proof finish, and it could not have delivered better. `


The application and wear: This stuff is the bomb dot com (except it’s not digital and it’s very safe. No explosions here, no siree.) It wears for a full 12 hours, applies flawlessly with very little effort, and really does give that “skin” finish!

Its finish is nice and dewy, but not too dewy – I look moisturized with only this on, but not greasy. I do set it with a translucent powder, however, because I typically go over my eyelids with my foundation and this stuff makes my eyeliner track like crazy. I find that it can can feel a little dry around my mouth area by the end of the day unless I really moisturize or prime before applying it, but it’s nothing that a single spritz of facial mist can’t fix.

Just, like, make sure it’s actually facial mist. Don’t accidentally get yourself in the eye with perfume (because that shit hurts.)


Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation swatches – R210, Y215, Y225


Make Up For Ever Water Blend swatches – R210, Y215, Y225 in indirect sunlight

Water Blend’s formula is more liquid and less gel-like than the original Face & Body, but I personally find that it performs better than its predecessor. It looks more like skin, catches on my dry skin less, and layers better – I can get anywhere from very sheer to medium coverage with this; nothing heavy enough to make my freckles or blemishes invisible, but enough coverage to really even out my complexion.

I find that Water Blend applies best when I “dot” it onto a dense buffing brush, speckle it all over my face, and then buff it in.


Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation before (left) and after (right) – click to enlarge. My shade is Y215 and my skin is otherwise unaltered; I am not wearing primer or powder in either of these photos.


The shade range: As usual, Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face & Body shade range covers a large range of shades – 20, to be exact. It was remarkably easy to find my shade in this foundation, as it only goes up to a medium coverage. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a bit of a tan right now, but look! A foundation that matches my face!! My poor, sad little ghost face!

R210 Pink Alabaster isn’t too much pinker than Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and both are fairly neutral. Y225 Marble is considerably darker than Y215 Yellow Alabaster, and it has a strong yellow undertone.


The verdict?

My verdict on Make Up For Ever’s new Water Blend Face & Body foundation is a resounding YES. It’s an extremely pleasant formula to work with, it layers well, and it feels lighter even than some of my moisturizers, much less other waterproof foundations. The shade range is excellent (and stretches slightly further than the brand’s Ultra HD foundation, at least on the lighter end), and I honestly like the way that it smells – lightly powdery, sweet, and almost a little bit fruity.

If you’re looking for a new light to medium coverage lightweight foundation, this one is excellent.

Availability: $43 USD/$54 CAD at Sephora.

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