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Review: Newness from First Aid Beauty (2019)*

First Aid Beauty, is a brand that I have been using on and off for the past few years, I have reviewed their products before here on the blog and if you're interested in reading about it, then click the link here. One of my favorite products from them is their Radiance Pads and the Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration. The Radiance Pads are great at clearing up my skin whenever it is acting up - like if I see some bumps, or if I'm breaking out, I will see this calm it and smooth things out. It is a liquid exfoliant that clarifies the skin and also brightens it. The Ultra Repair Cream has been my saviour in the colder months when my eczema is flaring up. It isn't thick, it feels weightless and hydrates my hands and doesn't irritate it. I keep a tube in my purse as well as my washroom and nightstand because I go through this stuff QUICK!

When I had the opportunity to try out some new items from FAB, I was very excited to see if I would like them as much as the two mentioned above. I was sent four things total to try, so if you're interested in reading my thoughts on them - then keep on reading below.

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Urban Decay - Naked Reloaded Palette*

I still remember that the first palette and item I ever purchased at Sephora, was the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I loved it and gravitated towards it because of how neutral it was, filled with brown and gold hues that were just effortless to work with. When they decided to discontinue it, I was a bit sad about it but deep down I knew it was because they had to have something planned - something perhaps better? 

Well look what we have here! A brand new baby that is now available as of February 17th - the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette, which retails for $55 cad. I must admit that the photos I had seen drifting on the internet before did not do this palette justice - when I opened the palette, I was so pleasantly surprised to see the range of colors within - both in its standard matte and metallic formulation. 

Review and Swatch: Zoya - Innocence (Spring 2019)*

Zoya brings to us this Spring, the Innocence Collection, which is a set of 6 polishes that is said to evoke the feeling of nature and the "transitions from Winter to Summer. Complete with its own thunderstorm in the color Theo, this collection is stormy and subtle, yet features a touch of brightness and softness". I would have to say that the description of this collection is pretty spot on - I am really feeling the grey-ish hue vibes of all the polishes. 

Agnes: A powder pink in its cream formula
Birch: A grey toned lavender in a cream formula.
Fern: A saje green with an iridescent pearl shimmer that also subtly reflects a champagne hue. 
Aire: A periwinkle blue in a cream formula.
Evette: Grape Purple in cream formulation.
Theo: A dark grey with irregular silver flakes throughout with a mix of dark blue glitter.

What I really appreciate in Zoya polishes, is their consistent attention to their formulations. In the above polishes, I could get away with one layer if I wanted to - but just to make sure I get a thoroughly even application, I always just do two to be safe. The shade Theo for sure needed two, and even perhaps three coats if you wanted it fully opaque as it is a glitter formulation. Each shade retails for $10 usd each. 

Just a reminder, that you can now order the Z-wide brushes to provide you with an even easier application with its wider brush. 

Out of all the shades, my favorite would have to be Fern and Birch, Agnes too is quite beautiful but Fern and birch are really beautiful shades. Fern is something I haven't seen before, and I have alot of nail polishes in my collection!

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for review consideration, all opinions are my own.

My Favorite Make-up Primers for Winter (2019)

I fully believe that as the seasons and weather changes, your skin reacts differently and in turn that affects how your make-up sits on your face. I always have a drawer of primers in rotation, depending on the timing of the year (yes I'm high maintenance), but honestly if I'm going to spend the time to do my makeup, then why wouldn't I make sure it would last? I wouldn't want my work to go to waste! 

In this post, I will share with you my tried and true favorite primers for the Winter months and why they work for me. 

Hydrating Primers
1. Make Up For Ever - Hydrating Primer*
This provides my skin with an instant boost of hydration leaving behind a supple and plump canvas to work with. It evens outs any dry patches and eliminates it and quickly sinks into the skin, therefore not delaying the rest of my make-up application.

2. Lancome - Prep & Hydrate Illuminating Make-Up Primer*
This primer also provides all of the hydrating goodness as mentioned above and also gives a bit of dewiness and brightness without being overboard. It feels luxurious on the skin without being heavy.

1. PIXI Beauty - Hydrating Milky Mist*
I like to use this product before and after make-up application. It can also be used as a setting spray which is what I did when we had about -36c weather here. It just gave me an extra barrier of hydration and helped my makeup to blend together effortlessly.

2. Urban Decay - Rebound Collagen - Infused Complexion Prep Priming Spray*
This is an amazing primer in setting spray form.  It evens out my skin tone and leaves behind a subtle glow and makes it look youthful. The spray is quite fine, so I typically use 1-2 spritz, and it absorbs fairly quickly. 
I have been using this everyday, and I am so obsessed with this. I even layer this with the products mentioned above. It has an evening quality to it and helps to fill and blur out my pores and helps keep my oil production at bay. Ever since using this, I haven't had to blot or reapply my make-up throughout the day in my problem area (t-zone), where I used to see my make-up slide off mid-day.

2. Laneige - Mini Pore Blur Perfector
This is almost like a moisturizer but with subtle blurring qualities - it is more hydrating than the DIOR, it is more like the MUFE and Lancome primer consistency but with pore filling qualities. On my natural days where I just want to put on some concealer, I just use this to even-out my skin.

3. Origins - Pore Perfecting Cooling Primer with Willowherb*
When I notice that I have some puffiness to the skin or that my skin is looking tired and I'm feeling like I need a perk-up, this is my go-to. It has a foam formulation that is cooling upon application and feels great. It hydrates the skin while also filling pores.

Have you tried any of these products before? What are your go-to Winter primers? I'd love to hear from you!

XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Review: Klorane - Mango Hair Care Collection*

Klorane has recently launched a brand new line up of hair products specifically aimed at those with dry hair, or in need of hydration (especially in the cold winter weather). Having just balayaged my hair, I have started feeling the effects of it on my hair, especially the ends where they have been bleached. I was really interested in trying this out on my hair to see how they did.

The Mango range includes a nourishing shampoo, detangling conditioner, leave-in cream (that can also be used as a styler) and an intensive mask.  They're made with 96% natural ingredients, are eco-friendly and contain recyclable packaging. It is silicone and paraben free and is said to deliver results as quickly as after the first use. 

What I really liked about the product is that they hold true to their claims, I did feel the effects right after the first use:

The shampoo was nourishing, but cleansed my hair effectively without weighing it down.

The conditioner was the perfect consistency and helped to moisturize it.

The hair mask which is my favorite just packed so much moisture into my ends that I now use it 2-3x a week and my hair has not felt dry anymore.

Lastly, the leave-in cream helped to detangle and smooth out my hair after towel-drying it.

I highly recommend that you pick up the hair mask and the shampoo from this collection, they work and are high quality products. What else is great is that it smells like mango ice-cream, drool! Just like the ones you get from the Japanese restaurants. 

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Review & Swatch: OPI - Tokyo Collection (Spring 2019)*

This Spring, OPI has launched a brand new collection of 12 nail polishes inspired by Tokyo! I remember going to that beautiful city about 5 years ago now, and I long for the day that I can go back again. I absolutely loved it, from the entertainment, to the culture and the shopping - it's an amazing city. 

The Tokyo Collection has a mix of cream and metallic finishes. Though the names of the polishes are a mouthful, they are absolutely adorable - from How Does Your Zen Garden Grow to I'm On a Sushi Roll and Another Ramen-tic Evening. As for the finish, I found that I had to use about 2-3 layers of polish in order to achieve full coverage. The only shade that required one layer was Hurry-juku Get The Color! and Kanpai OPI!. 

Overall I am extremely pleased with this collection, and I would definitely suggest that you pick up a few shades that I mentioned above with the names that I love!

Until next time, XO - M

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Review and Swatch: Annabelle Cosmetics - Bouncy Collection*

Annabelle Cosmetics has recently included a range of products to their existing line-up, called the Bouncy Collection - it includes shadows, a brow palette, mascara as well as a face and body highlighter. For those of you who appreciate a quick make-up application on a budget will definitely want to stay tuned

Review: Avon - ANEW Hydra Fusion*

The extremely cold temperatures lately have my skin gasping for some intense hydration, so what better time than to break into my Avon Anew Hydra Fusion items that were sent to me a few months ago. I will be reviewing and introducing these products in the order that I use them during my skincare routine for your convenience. 

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: YSL - Spring 2019 Makeup Collection*

Let's talk Spring right now because the weather outside is horrendous - if you're in the Greater Toronto Area, you will probably have heard of the near 20 cm of snow we're getting - boo! I was fortunate enough to be sent the YSL 2019 Spring Makeup Collection and if you are a reader or follower of my blog, you will know that I am an avid fan of their makeup - from their packaging to some of their formulations. I truly believe that they have come a long way in their formulations in the past year - if you keep reading below you will see which products are a must buy, and whether or not there are any misses and why. If you're interested in my last post about the Holiday collection, you can read all about it here, if not then you can see my other YSL posts here.

This season's packaging is housed in a beautiful iridescent pinkand gold packaging - both remaining true to their standard eyeshadow palette and blush/highlight compact size. Again, the packaging is sleek, luxe and has a nice weight to it that makes you feel super fancy and posh when using it. 

First, we have the Shimmer-Rush Multi-Palette for eyes, lips and cheeks, which retails for $70 cad. I can see how this palette can be used for the eyes and cheeks, but not quite sure which ones could be used for the lips, unless you mixed it with a medium before application. These are all powder formulations that honestly swatch beautifully and none of them are duds. They are all pigmented, buttery smooth and blend like a dream. When you see this in action in my video below or even in the makeup look photos, none have been altered or enhanced, what you see is what you get. Is this palette worth the $70 price tag, yes. Even if you are a collector and buy it for the packaging, yes it is but the bonus is the product inside is amazing.

Next, we have the Shimmer Rush Collector Blush Palette, which retails for $78 cad. While the formulation is soft, buttery and smooth it is important to note that it is a very light shade. I am a light-medium neutral in complexion and it hardly shows up on me. I had to end up layering this on top of the YSL Babydoll Duo Stick blush (one of my favs for a natural look). The swatch below is a heavy swatch of about 3-4 swipes, when I just use a fluffy brush to dip into the compact though and then apply to the face, I see the radiance they talk about - similar to a finishing powder. Though this item is beautiful to look at, I would however still recommend sticking with the mutli-use palette above if you had to chose between these two items.

In addition to the palettes, I was also been sent 5 of the 8 new Volupte Plump-in-Colour Lipsticks. I had originally seen this product reviewed on Tati's (Glam Life Guru) Video recently and she had done a horrid review on these lipsticks - saying it burnt her lips and that it made her lips look blue and her circulation was being cut off - which is quite harsh and scary! To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to try these out because I am such a huge fan of YSL lip products, I didn't want this to ruin the streak for me. However, hey It needs to be done! 

I started off by swiping these lipsticks on my arm as you can see below and they glided on effortlessly and beautifully - one swipe, even color distribution and looks wonderful like their other formulations. I saw no evidence of the black and blue markings that Tati mentioned - perhaps maybe she had got a bad batch? who knows - I'm not here to criticize her review, but just simply bringing light to those reading my post that I did not encounter this issue at all. 

This balm also is said to have a subtle plumping effect, which I find to be true - it has a slight tingling sensation, but nothing as extreme as many other ones I have tried in the marketplace - this one did not bother me nor did it over-do it. It just made it look a bit more juicy and at the end of the day this felt weightless, like water on my lips but as you can see in the video - one swipe, leaves behind a glossy look without the tackiness at all. You guys definitely need to go buy one... two... or more of these!ASAP!

From left to right are shades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the far right which is a true red. I think all these colors are great for Spring or even for Valentines coming up!

The products used to create the look above are listed in the video, but I also have them photographed below. 

Which items are your favorite or make you feel most excited about? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M.

* All items are PR samples, minus the Anastasia and Benefit products. 

Review: Indeed Laboratories - Nanoblur Colour Correctors*

The original nanoblur from indeed Laboratories has recently added three new items to their existing line-up, the colour correctors tinted in shades of yellow, purple and green. Think of these as both a skincare and make-up product as it works to treat, blur, correct and also prime the face at the same time. For those of you who are just looking to even out some redness, or add some brightness to the skin, wear this alone. If you are looking to wear make-up on top of this, it works as an amazing primer as well as it blurs out and fills in pores to give you a great canvas to apply your foundation, and rest of your make-up routine. 

Each tube of product retails for $16.99 and contains 30ml of product - they are paraben and fragrance free. As mentioned above, this is also a skincare item as it contains Nigella Sativa Oil which is an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it also helps to moisturize and strengthen the skin as well. Talk about a two-in-one product!