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Review: My introduction to Antipodes Skincare*


I was recently introduced to some skincare items from Antipodes to try out and after learning about the company's values I was even more excited to try these products out. 

"Antipodes® is a Scientific Green Beauty™ company from New Zealand that uses pollution-free, results-driven native New Zealand ingredients in its award-winning plant-powered vegan beauty™ and certified organic premium skincare range.Founder and CEO Elizabeth Barbalich has a background in science and innovation so understands how to bridge the gap between natural and prestige formulations - by using only those products made from sustainable healthy ingredients with skin-enhancing properties that pass robust scientific testing."

In addition to the above stated views on the ingredients and products, they have a fantastic view on their packaging of products as well. They are committed to repurposing, reusing and recycling which includes using recyclable boxes and paper in your shipment. The cardboard is made with 100% biodegradable cardboard derived from sustainable forests and all printing is done with 100% eco ink from vegetables. 

With a company that has such strong values on maintaining their integrity in their ingredients as well as reducing their ecological footprints, what isn't there to love and admire about this company? 


Below are the items that were sent for my review, and my thoughts on them are there as well:
This natural anti-ageing night cream helps to stimulate collagen production thereby helping you to gradually repair your skin as you sleep. Having 100% pure avocado oil, it replenishes essential Fatty Acids and  Vitamin A & C. In addition, it is enriched with Calendula Oil derived from Marigold Petals which has healing and repairing properties. Active Manuka Honey soothes the skin while providing moixture and the antioxidant rich Vinanza Grape helps to neutralize free radical damage and improving elasticity, firmness and preventing moisture loss. The cream has a light scent of Ylang Ylang, Jasmin and Sandalwood to helps to relax you as yo drift off to sleep. 

Perfect for dry and damaged skin, this is a rich yet light-weight and quickly absorbing oil that is organic and vegan. While they say that this is for the face, I sometimes mix it with a lotion to apply on the arms, hands and legs. The nutrient-rich avocado oil is grown in New Zealand and is blended with pure rosehip and macadamia oil. It has a subtle fragrance of sweet orange, ylang ylang and jasmine petal and is suitable for all skintypes. 

One of their popular items, this is a rich in texture but yet light-weight upon application cream. It is very soothing when applied and contains Kiwifruit, rich in Vitamin C which helps to brighten and reduce the appearance of fine-lines while moisturizing at the same time. This item is fragrance free and is suitable for all skintypes. Fun fact: One jar of this eye cream is sold every 60 seconds on average - wow! 

If you're interested in trying out some Antipodes products , they are available for purchase at The BayWell.ca and Amazon.

Items I'm excited to try out in the future include:

Until next tine, XO - M.

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

Review and Swatch: Zoya - Luscious Collection (Fall 2020)*


The fall collection from Zoya, Luscious, contains 12 polishes in what can be described as true fall tones of neutrals, earthy tones and a few splashes of berry shades. There are a variety of formulations in this collection, cream, microshimmer, shimmer, duo-chrome and metallic and as always I have these babies all swatched for you below. 



Bentley - royal eggplant purple (cream)
Lisa - deep garnet red (cream)
Sharon - wild berry (cream)
Teresa - berry toned purple with pink micro-shimmer (micro-shimmer)
Tommy - blue toned slate grey (cream)
Patrice - neutral mauve/blush tone with golden shimmer (shimmer)
Tasha - dark brown metallic (metallic)
Andrea - cool-toned duo-chrome that has a purple/green shift (duo-chrome)
Mel - forest olive green (cream)
Lou - spruce blue tone with a tint of green (cream)
Wanda - cool toned bubble gum pink with golden shimmer (shimmer)
Soleil - copper metallic (metallic)

All the shades swatched are with two coats of polish.

My favorite shades from this collection are: Andrea, Mel and Patrice as they are unique and I have not seen them yet or own them in my current collection.

What are some of your favorites? 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review & Swatch: Mary Kay Unlimited Lip Gloss*

 

I was recently sent this beautiful collection from Mary Kay - they are called the Unlimited Lipgloss, comes in 14 shades and 3 finishes - cream, pearl and shimmer and retails for $18 each. What I truly love about this collection is the variety of wearable colors it offers - there is a color for every occassion and easily takes you from morning to night, casual to dramatic and sexy. 

The gloss is super comfortable and plush, it is not sticky at all (BONUS!) and feels hydrating on the lips and does not settle in fine lines. The cream shades are pigmented and offers a smooth finish and delivery of color with one swipe. This formula contains Vitamins C and E as well and is dermatologist-tested for skin irritations and allergies. 

I'd love to know which shade is your favorite below - mine are: Evening Berry, Unique Mauve, Iconic Red, Pink Ballerina, Pink Fusion and Nude Blush. 


Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Benefit Cosmetics - Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation*



I was recently sent the Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation from Benefit to review and test out and to be honest, I was very nervous to do so because 1) I haven't done a makeup post in a while, life working from home and caring for my toddler made it too busy to find any time 2) well, look at my skin, I am breaking out so much. For those who know me in real life or have been followers of my blog, I'm sure you can agree that you have never seen my skin like this before - Please note that I have done zero editing in any of the photos below not even in the before or after as I just want my readers to view the real me and product - put it to the real test you know? 

So, I have decided to just put my fears aside and go for it, and I am so happy that I did - just look at the before (top row) and after (bottom row). This is in shade 4 and I swiped it twice each on my forehead, cheeks, once on nose and once on chin. This foundation offers a medium coverage so I tried it as a concealer and it worked! I was able to actually cover my tired panda mom eyes! This is truly an all in one product - being portable while offering a slim packaging, it is great for storage in your vanity or makeup bag.

The scent of it is amazing as well, which is the bonus - it has the most subtle natural lavender scent but the formula itself actually has a blend of chamomile and botanical extracts. It is waterproof and blends out effortlessly on the skin and feels weightless unlike many other cream foundations I have tried before. It does not make you look cakey either so I am ecstatic that it doesn't make my skin feel congested. Below is also what I found on the site which is certainly great to know and definite bonuses!

"Ingredient Callouts: Free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. This product is also vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging."


Below is the final finished look that I created and I have to say this is a new must-have - all my pimples are gone, I swear I didn't even edit it - the discoloration on my face from the prior acne scarring is gone as well in addition to covering my dark circles. I used to say how much I missed the old formulation of their powder foundation but truly after I tried this new stick foundation out, I can sadly say I am happy to finally let go of that one - hah!


Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review & Swatch: Zoya - Splash (Summer 2020)*


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I was recently fortunate enough to be sent the summer collection from one of my favorite nailpolish brands, Zoya! I have these beautiful gems all swatched below so keep on reading!

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Eclipse - holographic rainbow sparkles with silver glitter suspended in a clear coat - perfect to wear alone or over your favorite shade (holographic)
Fisher - seafoam blue with a gold micro-shimmer, beautiful especially when the sun hits it on a certain angle it glistens in the sun (shimmer)
Corrina - a dusty blush pink tone with a golden shimmer - its probably one of my favorite shades! Some angles it looks like a nude pink, but others when it reflects light turns into a beautiful tone that reminds me of a shell reflecting on the beach by the shore (shimmer)
Emma - coral (cream)
Jodi - bold pastel pink (cream)
Greta - a classic red (cream)

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Leilani - Fushia pink with golden micro shimmer running through - gives the illusion of it looking kind of orange/grapefruit toned in some angles under the sun (shimmer)
Kristie - magenta (cream)
Celi - Cherry red with gold micro-shimmer (shimmer)
Harbor - bold turquoise green (cream)
Maren - nautical blue (cream)
Jessica - eggplant purple (cream)

As always, all swatches are done with two coats however like I've repeatedly mentioned before in my prior posts covering Zoya polishes, their cream formulation is so good that you can easily get away with one coat. My stand-out shades for this collection include Corrina, Jodi and Leilani - these three shades are unique and ones I haven't seen before. I have nothing like it in my current collection is what I'm saying so those three are a definite yes for me!

What shades do you gravitate to? Would love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Catrice Cosmetics*



I have been using Catrice Cosmetics for a while now, if you missed my last post about them you can access it here. In my initial experience with them (and my first time using Catrice), I was so happy with the formulation of their products and when I had told my friend about it she went out to buy the products I recommended and loved it as well. 

This time, I have the chance to try their new Self-Made Bae palette ($16.99) in addition to their HD Liquid Coverage Foundation ($13.99). 

The eyeshadow palette is one from a collection of 3 different pieces named Self-Made, Basic and Badass. It contains a blend of mattes and shimmers and there are 12 shades total. I used the palette to create one entirely matte eye-look, and another is a darker smokey eye featuring the shade #RoleModel.


All the swatches above are done with one finger swipe and as you can see, the mattes are pigmented and not chalky and the shimmers are buttery and beautiful. In my honest opinion you really can't do better for this price point - it actually performs better than some high-end shadows I have tried that cost an arm and a leg!

Below you will see my bare face before the application of the HD Liquid Coverage foundation and the Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer ($7.99). 


As you can see, really the difference is night and day - it gave me a medium finish - I took the photographs in two different lightings just so you can see really how full coverage I got without it looking cakey. I only needed 2-3 drops of the foundation and I buffed it onto my face with a brush. I liked how light-weight it felt and as I wore it through the day, it almost seamlessly worked into my skin to look even more natural! I wore it during the heatwave we got on the weekend and it didn't break apart or do anything weird on my skin.


Look #1 is the entirely matte eyeshadow look where I used #selfmade in the inner half of the lid, #empire on the crease, #boss in the mid lid to outer V and to deepen the outer V I used #equalpay and #hustle. 

Look #2 features #rolemodel all over the lid and #empire on the crease - quick and easy smokey eye!

Overall, I would definitely have to recommend the palette and foundation to you guys to purchase, at the price point you really have nothing to lose. It offers great pay-off and I am thoroughly excited to see what else I can try from Catrice in the future!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review & Swatch: AVON - GlimmerKiss Liquid Lipsticks*



I was sent these Avon GlimmerKiss Liquid Lipstick recently and since it's been a long while I've posted a makeup-related blog post, I decided to swatch these lippies for you to see how they look! They come in four different shades and as the name suggests and they are a glimmer/shimmer finish. 

The liquid lipstick feels weightless on the lips and glides on effortlessly without drying it at all - I think I have the gel-cream formula to thank for that. They are water-resistant after you apply and let it set and does last on the lips (again without cracking or settling into fine lines of the lips). Lastly, they are paraben, sulfate and phthlate-free.

With four shades - Ruby (red), Sand Opal (Champagne), Amethyst (purple) and Violet (fuschia), while they do look a bit intimidating in the packaging I must say when applied they look bold and become quite wearable with a simple black wing. I would not do any type of eye look with these bold lips to be honest as you don't want to overwhelm the look. 

Which shade is your favorite? Mine would have to be Ruby - a classic red.

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Avon - Elastine Propolithera Hair Collection*


It has been a while since I've visited the blog here and for that, I apologize. It has been a crazy past few weeks as I'm sure you are all aware with COVID-19, juggling my full time job with motherhood meant I just had to let something go temporarily which was my blog. I am looking to come back a bit more often now though and do some posts - they will most likely be product reviews vs. make-up tutorials but let's just take it a day at a time and see what happens! 

I was sent this collection of hair products from AVON called Propoli Thera and I immediately gravitated towards it as I am a huge fan of honey in my skin and haircare products. Not only do these products smell amazing, but they work at providing me with volume in addition to moisture - a double win in my books. I have been holding out on dyeing my hair at home as my hair dresser frowns against it when she's trying to balayage my hair she can immediately tell if box dye has touched my hair as it impacts the way the dye or bleach works. However, the grays took over the hairline and I couldn't take it anymore so I had to just dye it - out of absolute desperation. 

Propolis is a tree sap that bees combine with their own beeswax to use as a coating for their hives. The products in this collection contains minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants to help restore weak and brittle hair with the use of Honey and Royal Jelly. 

Of course, box dye strips your hair and with my already bleached ends I needed some TLC to work its magic on my ends. The Elastine Propolithera Hair Mask helps to pack your hair with moisture and mend those split/dry ends and it is Sulfate Free and Paraben-Free for those who are curious! Apply to the mid - end sections of the hair and let it sit for 3-5 minutes and rinse off. I use this after shampoo and conditioner and I use it once a week and it is more than enough for me as I do have thin hair - they do recommend a use of 1-3x a week. As you can see from the image below, the mask is thick and creamy, an absolute dream! A definite must have in my books and works better than some salon products I've tried that charge 2-3x the price. 


Below I took a up-close shot of the shampoo and conditioner for you - these are from the damage repair line and hey it does exactly what it says. These froth up very well so I would say one pump was sufficient for me for my mid-length hair. Oh - speaking of pumps.. can we talk about the fact that they thought far ahead to include PUMPS for you to dispense the products? I was so impressed! The shampoo has micro glitters swirled within it, not sure if you can see it - but hey I mean it's not like you see it when you massage it into your scalp but it sure is pretty. The packaging is a win in my books with its cute honeycomb shaped bottles it just makes it all so aesthetically pleasing. 

As of today's date, I can't speak to the future, these products are listed 2 for $34!

 



Until next time, XO - M

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



Swatch: OPI - Mexico City Collection (Spring 2020)*


This Spring, OPI heads on over to Mexico City to bring  you the vibrant and colorful hues of the city and shake you out of the winter blues and add some pep to Spring! Mind you. these colors could easily transition you well into the Summer as well and I am so excited to swatch them below for you. 


First Row (Left to Right):
Hue is the Artist? - White with the slightest hint of lavender (cream)
Don't Tell a Sol - warm yellow (cream)
Coral-ing Your Spirit Animal - warm coral (cream)
Suzi's Slinging Mezcal - metallic gold (shimmer)

Second Row (L to R):
Mural Mural on the Wall - coral pink tone with gold reflects (jelly like)
Mexico City Move-Mint - beautiful baby turquoise pastel (cream)
Verde Nice to Meet You - seafoam green (cream)
My Chihuahua Doesn't Bite Anymore - orange (cream)

Third Row (L to R):
¡Viva OPI! - bright vibrant red (cream)
Telenovela Me About It - hot pink with lilac purple micro shimmer (shimmer)
Mi Casa Es Blue Casa - royal blue (cream)
Mariachi Makes My Day - deep purple (cream)

The standouts for this collection for me would have to be Mural Mural on the Wall, My Chihuahua Doesn't Bite Anymore and Telenovela Me About It. 

What are your thoughts on this collection?

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Swatch: Zoya - Calm Collection (Spring 2020)*


For Spring 2020, Zoya has released six new elegant pastel shades and named it the Calm Collection which I find the name to be very fitting. It has a combination of their creme and shimmer formula and is perfect for those who love a good nude, or a bit of color that isn't too bold.

The six shades are listed below:
Laura - true beige nude (cream)
Colleen - warm pastel pink (cream)
AJ - subtle pink with copper micro-shimmer (shimmer)
Vee - muted lilac (cream)
Emerson - cotton pastel blue (cream)
Leif - saje green (cream)

Below you will see the shades swatched at two coats each. Result: no streaks with full opacity! WOO!


Of the six shades, the three I'm gravitating to are Leif and AJ because they are more unique ones that I haven't seen before.

Would love to hear which ones are your favorite!

Until next time, XO - M

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