BISC Vol. 15: How do you overcome blogger’s block?

Sunday, September 13, 2015


AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

In my opinion “blogger’s block” can mean two things. One, like a writer’s block, having a hard time with writing itself. You do have pictures and the idea in your head but words just won’t flow. If that happens, I usually try to just jot down some loose ideas on a piece of paper, start with a short few sentences and later on build up on that. I think a bigger problem though is running out of ideas in general. That can happen quite easily in blogging, especially if you don’t receive PR samples and you cannot buy every new makeup item that comes out. Then I usually read a lot of other beauty and lifestyle blogs to look for inspiration, I check Pintrest to see if there are any looks that tickle my fancy that I could recreate.

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

Honestly, I’m not the person to ask about blogger’s block. When it comes, I often just kind of… let it come. I’ll take a little bit of a break, posting minimally as it happens, and just wait patiently for something to grip me again! Travelling always helps, and so does testing out a really great new collection, but I’m more likely to try and wait it out than I am to try and “overcome” it!


SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to sit it out. I used to push myself really hard. However, with my increasing workload, my options really come down to finally getting some sleep and writing a blog post on some days. Learning to let go is a big part of staying happy as a blogger (for me). Other times it’s good to read, talk to people, go out for a coffee, or admire some stunning photos. You never know when inspiration might come to you!

MATROMAO | Philippines | FoodWorldMe

I don’t force it, because that only burns me out faster. Usually, if I take one or two days on break, I’m okay to start writing again. I also accept that some posts can’t be finished in one day. Sometimes, I’ll just start with an outline, then I’ll come back tomorrow with “renewed vigor” and the ability to edit and finish immediately. It also helps to switch up topics every now and then. I also do restaurant reviews, so I can just transition back and forth.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

I usually just let it be. Sometimes I even think of it as a blessing because I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family doing “life” things. I’ll try to stay off social media, too, if possible. I find that when I’m happy, I’ll have a lot of energy, and ideas will flow naturally. I also find it easier and more fun to write about things I’m genuinely happy and excited about!

[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*]

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré review | The BEST primer for dry skin

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre review moisturizer

The product: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturizer

I don’t typically buy products due to hype, but when the Pixiwoo sisters say something is really good… I have a tendency to believe them & buy. (What? Anyone with that much makeup prowess and standards high enough to make my favourite brush range is to be trusted implicitly.)

Net a Porter Embryolisse review

The Lait-Crème magic 

I was pulled to the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré because it was one of the only cult-followed, silicone-free moisturizers that I had left to try, but the real magic (and the thing that pulls most people in) is how brilliantly it works as a primer.

This “milk-cream” formula is the silkiest skincare product I’ve ever tried, and creates a gorgeous, hydrating veil over my dry skin. It does a better job smoothing over my dry patches than even the popular Korres silicone-free primers (available at Beautylish), and multi-functions as a moisturizer and primer in one.

Embryolisse review lait creme concentre

Embryolisse says the Lait-Crème Concentré can be used on all skin types as a moisturizer, makeup remover, mask, after-shave cream, or baby-care product, but I think where it really shines is as a moisturizing primer. I use it on my “bad skin days” and whenever I feel like giving my skin a bit of a treat; with its French pharmacy packaging and subtly perfumed formula, it feels simultaneously utilitarian and luxurious. 

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre primer review

The verdict?

Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré is French pharmacy goodness at its best. I love the silky, glossy texture of this moisturizer, and it is both the best primer I have ever found for dry skin and the best silicone-free primer I’ve ever tried.

To top it all off, the Lait-Crème Concentré is delicately scented and extremely affordable, and currently ships free at both Look Fantastic and Birchbox (US)!

Availability: 30 ml for $16 USD at Net-A-Porter, $20 with free shipping at Look Fantastic (use code LFNEW for 10% off); $16 USD with free shipping at Birchbox; $16 at Beautylish.

Keep reading! »

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD (shade Y225=117) foundation photos, launch party

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid stick foundation range shades

While I was in Toronto this summer, I got to check out a pretty cool new product: the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($50 CAD), which launched this July in liquid format, and the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($50 CAD), which launches this month.

I wanted to share a really quick little recap of the event, because (a) blogger love!, and (b) the new foundations are pretty darn cool.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation review, stick foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid & stick/cream foundations

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD steph fun size beauty

I’ll just be over here, pretending to be one of the cool girls… | with Zubie, Steph, and Jenn

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Amy Bratty B

Amy (who just started Bratty B)! I can’t even put into words how much I love this girl.

Made for use with 4K camera technology, the new Ultra HD foundations are an update on Make Up For Ever’s original HD foundation, which has been the top selling foundation at North American Sephoras since it launched in 2008. (Unfortunately, like the original, both of these foundations contain silicones!)

The key makeup artist at the event demonstrated both of the new “invisible” foundations on his model Ashley, pairing them with the brand’s correcting primers — the translucent Skin Equalizer primer in the centre of the face to reflect and bounce light, plus the yellow primer to add brightness.

UltraHDGeneration launch party

The technology: the new Ultra HD foundations use hyaluronic spheres to make the foundation blend automatically, so the makeup artist at the event recommended a bit of a traditional application method: apply (2 pumps of the liquid is enough for full coverage), let bake, then blend. 

The foundations also include light-diffusing sericite, made to “act like an Instagram filter!” as well as amino acid coated pigments, which blur flaws as they cover. They pair well with the brand’s matte skin equalizer, too: just pat it on top (yes, on top!) of your foundation when you’re finishing up your makeup.

MUFE Ultra HD launch party

The utterly gorgeous Chelle, from Makeup Your Mind

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Jenn a beautiful zen

Jenn, as in “A Beautiful Zen Jenn”! (The beauty blogging world has more Jenns than we know what to do with.) I’m so sad that this girl isn’t gonna be there the next time I go to TO :(

MUFE Ultra HD Zubie

Zubie is pretty much the coolest cool girl. She basically always (ALWAYS) looks like she’s just fallen out of a photoshoot.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation 117 y225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

The formulas: Make Up For Ever recommends their Ultra HD Liquid Foundation for a natural finish in a lightweight, oil-free formula, and their Ultra HD Stick Foundation for medium-full coverage, touch-ups, and contouring.

The liquid, which is lighter than the original HD liquid, is supposed to be better for normal to oily skin, while the super-smooth stick formula is targeted toward normal to dry skin.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD stick foundation 117 225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD launch party shades

The shades: The new foundations have a wider shade range than the original, and a new shade numbering system to go with it. I was matched to Y225 Marble (the old 117) in my summer tan, which was the brand’s lightest yellow-based shade… until now.

Y225 is still the lightest shade in the stick foundation, but for the super-pale guys and gals out there, Make Up For Ever now also offers Y215 Yellow Alabaster and Y205 Alabaster in liquid format! (The pink-based equivalents are R210 Pink Alabaster and R220 Pink Porcelain.) The stick foundation will be available in 15 shades, and the Ultra HD liquid is available in a whopping 40 shades

Additional photos & more »

Maybelline ColorBlur Cream Matte Pencil lipstick review, swatches, photos

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Maybelline ColorBlur I Like to Mauve It review swatches photos

The product: Maybelline ColorBlur by LipStudio Cream Matte Pencil & Smudger

↳ in 10 Fast & Fuchsia, 25 Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, 35 Plum Please, 40 My-My Magenta, and 50 I Like to Mauve It

This summer, Maybelline launched a new take on the matte lip that caught my eye immediately: their ColorBlur pencils, which, while perhaps not singular in formula, are entirely unique in execution. 

Maybelline Color Blur Lip Color review swatches

The concept & packaging: The ColorBlur Cream Matte Pencils are twist-up matte lip pencils packaged in thin, matte packaging (which feels surprisingly chic for the drugstore).

On one end is a tapered lip pencil; on the other, a dual-sided, asymmetrical silicone smudger that does a delivers a softly or sharply defined lip without getting a single fingertip dirty. The smudger comfortably creates a “softly blurred look” by blending the pencil from the centre of the lip outwards, and is not anything like the sad little smudging ends you sometimes see on eyeliners — you know the ones.

Maybelline Color Blur photos swatches review

Maybelline ColorBlur silicone smudger

Maybelline Color Blur I Like to Mauve It review swatches

Maybelline ColorBlur Cream Matte Pencils (L-R) in I Like to Mauve It, My-My Magenta, Plum Please, Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, and Fast & Fuchsia

The shades: There are ten ColorBlur shades currently available, and I got to try five of them. First, two gorgeous pinks: 10 Fast & Fuchsia, a vivid coral pink, and 40 My-My Magenta, an intense, blue-based pink. Next, 50 I Like to Mauve Ita pretty MLBB lip colour that I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of — it’s been living in my purse for weeks.

Finally, there’s the orange-red 25 Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, and 35 Plum Please, a dark plum/red… but more about that in a minute.

Maybelline Color Blur My My Magenta review swatches photos

 Maybelline ColorBlur Matte Lip Pencil swatches in 10 Fast & Fuchsia, 25 Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, 35 Plum Please, 40 My-My Magenta, and 50 I Like to Mauve It

The formula: The ColorBlur formula is vivid, super-smooth, and easy to work with, but after an hour or two (like with all mattes, and many non-matte lipsticks), I do find it to be too drying for me.

However, the formula applies very evenly, without catching on lines or migrating when I press my lips together. The exception to this rule is no. 35 Plum Please, which catches on everything — you can even see it in the swatch. But don’t fret! There’s a fix to this problem.

Maybelline Color Blur Cherry Cherry Bang Bang review swatches

 Maybelline ColorBlur swatches in Fast & Fuchsia, Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, Plum Please, My-My Magenta, and I Like to Mauve It Maybelline Fast and Fuchsia ColorBlur review  swatches

 Maybelline ColorBlur Cream Matte Lip Pencils, from top to bottom: Fast & Fuchsia, Cherry Cherry Bang Bang, Plum Please, My-My Magenta, and I Like to Mauve It

The ColorBlur secret: For some reason, the ColorBlur pencils play very, very nicely with petroleum-based moisturizers. It makes them comfortable, softly glossy, and in the case of Plum Please, both even and absolutely gorgeous. 

I couldn’t get quite the same results with lip balm as I could using German Nivea Creme, which seemed to disturb the formula just enough to make it forgiving and hydrating while leaving the colour vivid and opaque. (For a still-matte finish, I bet they would work brilliantly with a silicone-based mattifying moisturizer, too!)

Maybelline Color Blur Plum Please swatches

Maybelline ColorBlur in Plum, Please swatched (L) and swatched with Nivea overtop (R)

I snapped a quick shot of Plum Please before and after the Nivea (above), as well as a full-face shot of how gloriously it pairs with Nivea. My apologies for the graininess; in my excitement, I took these photos late at night!

Also wearing: Annabelle EyeInk2 MistakeProof Eyeliner in Black ($10.95 CAD), Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in 04 Massive Midnight ($17 USD/$25 CAD — I am obsessed with this mascara right now!!), Lise Watier Ombre Velours Suprême in Pêche Velours and Rose Thé Velours ($25 CAD); Senna Matte Eye Color in Sphinx and Intrigue to contour ($18 USD), applied with the Make Up For Ever 150 Precision Blush Brush ($40 USD/$46 CAD — I swear, this brush gives the most killer cheekbones).

Maybelline Color Blur Plum Please FOTD swatches makeup look review

Wearing Maybelline ColorBlur in Plum, Please with Nivea overtop — I was surprised by how much I loved this lip!

The verdict?

From the one-of-a-kind smudger to the super-smooth formula, I’ve really enjoyed using the Maybelline ColorBlur lip pencils. They’re not flawless (I wish they were more hydrating), but all matte pencils are at least a little bit drying, and Maybelline totally nailed the colour range with these.

My opinion? Unless you have really dry lips, the ColorBlur lip pencils are definitely worth checking out — if not for the forgiving formula and great colour range, then for the fact that they’re so unique.

Availability: $11.99 CAD at drugstores and mass market retailers. Available online (US) at Ulta & Amazon.

Keep reading! »

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (dark hair) | Two in, one… still in

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Klorane dry shampoo HG stocking up

This summer has been a major month for re-buying, and I’ve carefully taken the time to snap & document each time it happens. In my soon-to-be eight years as a beauty blogger (I think theNotice started on the 23rd of September? I’ll have to look it up later), I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve re-purchased an item — so when it happens, the product has to be pretty darn good.

I’ve been lucky enough this year to find not one, not two, but four products worth re-purchasing this summer alone. The first, of course, was Odacité’s Pomegranate & Rose Geranium Serum Concentrate; the second is this one!

Klorane Dry Shampoo for Dark brown hair review rebuy

Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for Brown to Dark Hair is a product that I really like, but unlike my other re-buys, I probably wouldn’t sell my soul for a bottle. My firstborn, maybe, but probably not my soul. I reviewed the spray originally this May, and when my bottle began to run out, I began to wait patiently for a Klorane sale.

Shopper’s had them on for about $11/each in July, which is fantastic (compare to $17.29 CAD at, so I picked up two: one to replace my bottle, and one to leave at my partner’s place.

Klorane Dry Shampoo Oat Milk review holy grail rebuy

As I said in my original review, Klorane is, by far, the best dry shampoo I’ve found so far. (Unless you care more about white casts than scents, in which case, Colab all the way.) It works well to absorb oil and smells subtle and clean, but it can get a little chalky-looking if you over-spray, and the regular $15-20 USD price tag is way too high. (Sephora really marks up; I think they’re regular $14.95 CAD at Shopper’s!)

But, well. I can make it to day three hair with my trusty bottle of Klorane, and even though their Oat Milk formula isn’t perfect… I own three bottles. I think that tells you all you need to know. At $15 a pop, I would hesitate, but at $10 or $11, they are definitely worth the re-buy!

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