Budget Beauty Essentials: e.l.f. Cosmetics

29 Aug


Hello beauties!

Have you tried e.l.f. cosmetics yet?

I know there are a lot of e.l.f. fans out there. Count me in because this drugstore brand definitely proves that you don’t have to spend megabucks for high-quality beauty products. I also love the e.l.f. mission which is “to make luxurious beauty accessible for all women to play beautifully.”

If you love palettes and primers, here are two budget beauty essentials that you have to check out. With so many choices at low prices, this beauty brand is definitely going to test your inner makeup junkie will power.

e.l.f. Contour Palette

This no-fuss contour compact comes with a good-sized mirror and four pigmented colors designed for contouring, shading, sculpting, brightening, and highlighting:

  • The first shade is an off-white color for highlighting that blends well and provides just a touch of shimmer.
  • The second shade (next to the highlighter) is a brightening shade you can also use to cover imperfections.
  • The third shade is a medium bronze for contouring in your favorite areas.
  • The fourth shade is a deeper bronze (with no orange tones) for drama or darker skin tones.

TIP: Since the pans are smaller in this contour palette, use a smaller contouring brush to avoid picking up other colors.

What’s also clever about this palette is that the pans in the palette are removable. Turn the palette over and you can pop out the shades and mix and match them with shades from other e.l.f. palettes.

e.l.f. Mineral Infused Primer

I love primers and the price (under $10) is right for e.l.f.’s Mineral Infused Primer.

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Triple Threat Color Corrector: Stila One Step Correct

25 Aug


Warmer weather is a mixed blessing for your skin. On the one hand, you usually end up with a bit of color. On the other hand, you may be left with a dull complexion or sun spots.

One way to deal with “after summer” skin is by using color correcting makeup. One of the first and best color correctors I’ve tried is Stila One Step Correct. This triple threat serum color corrects, brightens, and covers skin imperfections.

Once you try this primer, you’ll find it can do just about anything:

  • Blur out imperfections
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines, pores, and pigmentation
  • Hydrate and improve skin texture

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Fall Skincare: Clarins Extra‑Firming Mask

22 Aug

Clarins Extra Firming Mask

Hello beauties!

It’s hard to believe September is around the corner. We’re in the middle of a major heat wave in Vancouver, and I have to say I’m looking forward to the change of season.

Just in time for your hectic fall schedule, Clarins is launching the Extra-Firming Mask. Perfect for fall skincare, this mini spa in a jar helps visibly smooth stress lines and restore firmness.

The Extra-Firming Mask has a cream-gel texture in a soothing purple shade that just makes me want to unwind. It contains a cocktail of plant-based ingredients with healing and firming properties like green banana and lemon thyme.

If you’ve ever wanted to try working on your facial pressure points, Clarins has created an exclusive application method designed to help counteract the nasty effects of stress and fatigue.

It acts on three areas of the face—forehead, eye zone, and facial contours—to relieve tension and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Worth the Splurge: Diorskin Forever Compact

15 Aug

Diorskin Compact

Some innovative liquid foundations have launched this year, but sometimes I prefer the convenience of a powder foundation.

One of my favorite powder foundations is the Diorskin Forever Compact. If you avoid powder foundation because you don’t like a cakey finish, you need to take a serious look at this powder. It does everything your favorite glowy liquid foundation does.

What works best with this  foundation is that it adapts to your skin, and makes it look incredibly smooth. The formula, which provides medium coverage, looks hydrated yet refined with imperfections concealed.

TIP: To build more coverage, dampen the sponge that comes with the compact.

Yes, this foundation is expensive but it seems to last forever.

Here’s what convinced me. First, it’s great for quick touch ups throughout the day. Second, the mirrored compact and velour pouch are so pretty, it’s just worth the splurge!



What I’m Loving Lately: Makeup Revolution

11 Aug

Makeup Revolution Palettes

Happy mid-week beauties!

I’m very excited to share my latest beauty crush: Makeup Revolution.

I was introduced to Makeup Revolution at a beauty event in Vancouver this summer.

Prior to the #LDBeauty event, I read about Makeup Revolution but wondered if I would ever get a chance to pick up any of their products (even though Canadians love our beauty products, we don’t always have the same access as US and UK makeup junkies). Continue reading

What’s New: Easy Ways to Contour and Highlight from Maybelline

8 Aug

New Maybelline Face Products

Did you take a break from heavy-duty contouring and embrace the nontouring (natural-looking skin) trend this summer?

If you’re wondering where the makeup world is heading with contouring, Maybelline has a few hints with some recent makeup launches.

I had a chance to take a look at a couple of new products that just may change your contouring, strobing, and powder game this fall.

Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick

Makeup sticks or crayons continue to be popular because they’re quick, convenient, and easy to apply on the go.

The Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick is a 2-in-1 contour and highlighter stick with a blendable creamy texture.

I was excited to take a look at this contouring stick because I”m already a fan of Maybelline’s Brow Drama, an easy brow sculpting tool that tames brows as it colors.

If you’re brand new to contouring, the Master Contour V-Shape Duo stick is the way to go for for an easy, sculpted V-shaped face.

Talk about a no brainer! The back of the stick even has illustrated steps for applying the dark shade (jawline, hollows of cheeks) and the light shade (high points of face: tops of cheeks and bridge of nose).

Overall, this contouring stick is a great portable option that works for travel or work touch-ups. Depending on your skin tone and the effect you’re trying to create, you can pick up the contour stick in one or more of these shades:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Deep

Facestudio Master Strobing Stick

Maybelline’s Master Strobing Stick is an easy alternative for the contouring process called strobing that adds dimension by illuminating certain areas of your face.

The strobing stick has a smooth, lightweight texture that easily blends to create the lit from within strobing effect.

The formula in the stick contains micro-fine pearls, and  comes in two shades: Light (pink iridescent) and Medium (peachy nude glow). I tried the Light shade and found it gave my cheekbones and brow area just the right sheen.

According to Maybelline, you can use the Master Strobing Stick in several ways:

  • Enhance cheeks by highlighting the top of cheekbones.
  • Accentuate features by spotlighting the center of the face.
  • Brighten the eye area by spotlighting the brow bone and inner corner

If you’re a sucker (like me) for products that add radiance, the Master Strobing Stick is glow-worthy.

Super Stay Better Skin Powder

Maybelline has also released Super Stay Better Skin Powder, which can complete any contouring, highlighting, or strobing look.

This skin-transforming powder contains salicylic acid, and is designed to help improve skin within three weeks. For immediate gratification, the medium coverage powder provides a smooth, matte finish without looking cakey. Continue reading

Makeup with Benefits: Almay Age Essentials Collection

4 Aug

Almary Age Essentials

When it comes to makeup with benefits like collagen, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, count me in.

Almay has recently launched their Age Essentials collection with these skin-loving ingredients and SPF, including:

  • Almay Age Essentials Makeup
  • Almay Age Essentials Concealer
  • Almay Age Essentials Lip Treatment

Almay Age Essentials Makeup

I’m a hard-core powder foundation fan, but I try to be open to alternatives🙂. Almay’s foundation with built-in moisturizer is lightweight and blends well (the Light Neutral shade was a good match for my pale skin tone).

Even though the SPF 15 foundation has a matte finish, it still made my skin look moisturized all day. In fact, the foundation is designed to boost hydration immediately and over time.

Almay Age Essentials Concealer

Some multi-purpose concealers work well for one issue but are a total fail for another. For example, you may find that a concealer does a good job hiding dark circles, but it leaves buildup over the day in your lines and creases.

With its creamy texture, Almay Age Essentials Concealer with SPF 20 camouflages darkness and subtly brightens under the eyes (without creasing). The easy-to-use stick format with a slanted tip provides good coverage and comes in shades from light to medium deep.

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What’s in My Bag: Favorite Makeup Minis

1 Aug

Favorite Makeup Minis

Like many beauty bloggers, I’ve accumulated a lot of makeup🙂.

When containers start to overflow, it’s time for a “reorg” to refresh my memory as to what I have and decide what needs to go.

During a recent organizing session, I came across a stash of makeup minis.

Instead of storing them separately (in my usual haphazard fashion), I’ve decided to pack these favorite minis in a cosmetic bag so they’re travel or work-ready.

Benefit “That Gal Brightening Face Primer”

If you want to brighten up your skin before applying foundation, Benefit’s lightweight pink primer makes skin look more awake.

Diorshow Mascara

This Dior mascara with its microfiber formula is legendary for its lash-lengthening effect. I like the thick wand for building lashes with a lot of volume.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

This unique serum defends skin against the environment and daily damage. Shiseido spent 20 years studying skin immunity before it developed a blend of ingredients that boosts the defensive functions of skin cells.

Buxom Full-on Lip Stick

I’m a big fan of all Buxom lip products. Although you can apply this lip-pumping lipstick in Brooklyn all over the lip area, I use it as a lip liner because of its creamy texture.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss

This lip gloss comes in the Bellini Mini Lip & Eye Palette. This shade called Bellini is a nude pink with a pearlescent finish. What can I say: it’s Bobbi Brown ❤️.
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