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Smart Illumination: NYX Strobe of Genius

19 Sep

NYX Strobe of Genius

If you weren’t born with it, one way to capture the “glowy” skin look is with an illuminating palette that helps to create depth and dimension with light.

The Strobe of Genius palette from NYX Cosmetics comes with seven versatile shades to master the art of strobing (or highlighting).

Even though the palette looks like an explosion of shimmer, the shades are surprisingly soft and flattering without leaving a heavy finish.

The palette contains cool and warm tones that go beyond basic white and pink, including:

  • Top Row: Gold, champagne, lilac, rose gold (cool)
  • Bottom Row: Copper, bronze, ivory (warm)

If you’re keen on strobing through the fall, this could be your go to kit with so many possibilities (plus you can use the shades as eye shadow, bronzer, or blush).

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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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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.

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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’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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New Lineup of Cleansers from NeoStrata

28 Jul

NeoStrata Cleansers

If you’re like me, you probably spend more time picking out a lip gloss than deciding what to use to clean your face.

With their new lineup of cleansers, the skin gurus at NeoStrata have made it easier to find the best way to remove everyday impurities and makeup (the most important step for healthy skin!).

I had a chance to take a look at NeoStrata’s new collection of cleansers, which you can easily incorporate into any skincare routine (even one for sensitive skin).

All-in-One Cleansing Milk

I’m a fan of cleansing milk because it’s an extra gentle cleansing option that doesn’t strip the skin of moisture.

NeoStrata’s non-rinse cleansing milk contains a plant extract called Celldetox™ to detoxify and prepare your skin to receive skincare ingredients in the other skincare products in your routine.

To remove makeup from your face, eyes, and lips, just apply the non-rinse cleanser with a cotton pad and delicately wipe off.

Who this cleanser is for: If your skin tends to be dry or irritated, use this non-rinse cleansing milk to wipe away dirt and makeup but still leave skin hydrated.

Detoxifying Micellar Gel

Non-rinse micellar cleansers got their start in the fashion world in France. Models and makeup artists rave about micellar cleansers because they’re quick and easy-to-use, and avoid the harsh effects of water.

NeoStrata has reinvented the micellar cleanser by adding their detoxifying ingredient, Celldetox, and soothing Vitamin E to the cleansing process.

Just swipe a cotton pad with this gel cleanser to remove stubborn makeup and the tiny micelles dissolve impurities and leave your complexion feeling soft without stripping the skin.

Who this cleanser is for: The micellar gel works well when you’re on the go and don’t have access to water, for example, camping. It’s also handy when you just want to crawl into bed and get rid of makeup and dirt before you hit the lights.

Cleansing Foaming Water

Glycolic acid is one of the most effective ways to brighten and even out your complexion (and who doesn’t love a foamy cleanser).

NeoStrata’s Foaming Water cleanser contains 2% glycolic acid (the AHA of choice) to purify and gently exfoliate the buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface. To balance out the glycolic acid, Pro-vitamin B and cucumber provide hydrating and soothing benefits.

Who this cleanser is for: If you want to ease glycolic acid into your skincare routine, apply this foamy water to wet skin, massage gently, and rinse.

Oil Free Gel Cleanser 4% Glycolic Acid

For combination or oily skin, Neostrata’s Oil Free Gel Cleanser has 4% glycolic acid to speed up the skin’s exfoliation and remove buildup of dead cells, oil, and impurities on the skin’s surface.

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For Sleeping Beauties: StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask

14 Jul

Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask

Since your body repairs and detoxifies while you sleep, why not take your skin to the next level by applying an overnight mask?

I had a chance to try StriVectin’s Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask, designed to replenish moisture lost during the night that often results in a dull complexion.

The multi-layered technology behind this nourishing mask, called NIA-114, helps enhance the skin’s ability to maintain water reserves at optimal levels.

What this means is that the mask provides intense hydration throughout the night and soothes your skin while you sleep. When you wake up, your skin is smooth and ready for your morning beauty routine. Let’s just say, this mask is like an overnight skin primer.

Using the mask just requires applying a generous layer over clean, dry skin before bedtime 2-3 times per week. When you use the mask, you can skip your regular nighttime moisturizer.

The fragrance-free mask has a soft, gel-like texture that easily absorbs into the skin without feeling heavy. That’s good news if you’re a side sleeper, since the mask won’t end up on your pillow.

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