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Product Empties and Review: March - June 2018


It's time to round up some of the products I've used up in the last 3 months and I've sorted them into categories below - skincare/bodycare, foundations/primers/concealer, mascaras, misc and makeup. Keep on reading below to see what I will repurchase again and what I really enjoyed. 


BODY PRODUCTS:
Attitude Blooming Belly Shampoo - I was using this constantly throughout my pregnancy and really enjoyed how it made my hair feel clean and refreshed without feeling guilty of not knowing whether it contained ingredients I shouldn't be using. I would recommend this to any mommy to be!

Attitude Blooming Belly Stretch Oil - I applied this a few times a week and did not develop any stretch marks. I used this in conjunction with Bio Oil (on days I didn't use one I used the other). It is almost petroleum jelly like in texture, so it provides great hydration and you feel it on the skin. I like to apply it after my showers before bed.

Tarte Clean Queen Deodorant - I also used this throughout my pregnancy and having sensitive armpits, it was great that this did not irritate my armpits or cause any ingrowns or rashes. Will repurchase for sure.

Earth Mama New Mama Bottom Spray - now known as Herbal Perineal Spray - I went through two bottles of this and even wrote a blog post about it, I would definitely recommend this to mommy to be! Read my blog post here if you're interested in the review - I truly believe that this sped up my recovery from the perineum tearing. 

True Blue Spa - Look Ma, New Hands - This was a great product, I used this during my at-home manicures and it made my hands feel ultra soft and hydrated. I have since found a new hand lotion that I love, which is the Zoya Naked Manicure - however if you're looking for something at a more budget price, the True Blue is great!


FACE & HAND PRODUCTS:
Korres Greek Yogurt 3-in-1 Cleansing Emulsion - I used this during my pregnancy to remove my make-up and it did a great job. It kept my skin hydrated because of its cream-based formula and was gentle enough. It did not irritate my skin and the scent is so subtle it didn't create any adverse effects. I recommend this to those with sensitive skin as well!

Nip + Fab Skin Glycolic Scrub Fix - This was a great scrub - it has ultra fine yet coarse (in a good way) exfoliating particles. It really made you feel like you were sandpapering (again, in a good way) your face of all dead skin and clogged pores. The glycolic acid component also worked to give a radiance to the skin and worked to even it out and clarify it. I would definitely repurchase this! 

Bioderma - Cicobio Skin Irritation Creme - I used this when I had cuts and skin irritations like eczema flareups and such. I had this for so long that I had to throw it away even though it was only half used. You only had to apply a thin layer to the affected area and it really sped up the recovery process. Will repurchase for sure!

Vichy Pore Purifying Clay Mask - I have previously written about this product on the blog before and I really enjoyed using it. I always applied this to my t-zone and nose area (my oily areas) or on upcoming zit pop-ups! It worked so well in pulling out excess oils and the gunk to the surface. It balanced the oil production on my nose and helped to keep my black heads at bay. Once I stopped using this I could see my black heads slowly coming back.


FOUNDATION/PRIMER/CONCEALER:
Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation - I so wanted to like this foundation but it just didn't work for my oily/combination skin. It was too hydrating and dewy that it made me look like an oily mess by mid day. I could make this work during the winter time when my skin typically gravitates to the dryer spectrum but I generally prefer having a product I can use throughout the year. 

Clinique Superbalanced Silk Foundation - This gave me me a medium coverage (something that I typically save for more special occasions). I normally use a sheer to buildable light weight foundation. This did work well to make my skin look airbrushed and flawless. My nose did get a bit oily by mid-day but my t-zone area was okay. I will most likely try other foundations before I revisit this one. 

Giorgio Armani - Prima Day Long Skin Perfector Trouble Zones - This was an AMAZING primer, but so pricey! I rationed the heck out of it and used it only for the t-zone and nose area where I had most of my oily skin issues. It kept those areas normal throughout the day and I didn't look greasy at all, even by end of day. It kept my oil at bay without being drying at all. It actually even worked to make my skin feel hydrated - it's truly a magical product. I will most likely eventually repurchase this product again (when I'm done being on mat leave!)

Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation - This is a coveted product for those who love a high coverage foundation. It covers all imperfections and can even cover tattoos on the skin. It's a truly remarkable product. Again, as I am a light weight foundation user, this was too heavy for me but I liked to mix it in with my regular foundations for a bit more coverage on days that I wanted it. Dermablend has a setting powder that I can't live without... it's soooo good!

Amazing Cosmetics - Amazing Concealer - This is actually my second purchase of this product as it is a great concealer! It does go bad rather quickly, I was only about half done but it smells off - so if you plan on buying this, use it quick! It's also a bit pricier than normal concealers but a little goes a long way and it provides high coverage. It's thick in consistency so I like to warm it up on the back of my hand and apply with my fingers and then dab with the beauty blender.


MASCARAS:
Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara - This isn't my favorite Maybelline mascara but it did a great job, my favorite from Maybelline will still have to be Lash Sensational! 

Avon True Color Supershock Volumizing Waterproof Mascara - Avon creates great formulations for mascaras, with great wands. I don't remember trying something I didn't like! This worked well to separate the lashes and lengthen it. 

GOSH Rebel Eyes Mascara - I liked this mascara alot but sadly I can't find it at Shoppers Drug Mart anymore, they stopped carrying the brand. It worked to lengthen and add volume to my lashes and was pitch black. 

Marcelle Ultimate Fringe Effect Mascara - This was a great mascara as well - I like how it seperates and lengthens my lashes while curling it. Marcelle creates some of the best mascaras in the drugstore.


MISC:
Beauty Secrets Acetone - I think this is my third bottle of Acetone that I buy from Sally Beauty. It contains Vitamin E and Wheat Protein to keep the nail hydrated and prevents the cuticles from drying out. Wth it being Acetone it gets rid of the most stubborn polish effortlessly as well and this is great value, at I believe under $5 Cad (don't quote me on this, I have used the current bottle for so long and I bought it a while back) but it is on the US site for under $3 USD. I will continue to repurchase this for sure!

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner - This is also a repurchase for me, I believe its my third bottle? and I have a backup as well. I prefer this formulation over the aerosol one from Sephora. It works well to spot clean the brushes in between the deep clean ones and it also conditions my brushes and keeps them soft. It is also quick to dry as well. Will continue to repurchase it. 

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Eyes - This is a light weight serum in texture product for the under eyes to help with dark circles and wrinkles/puffiness. I really liked the weightless feel of this product that absorbed really quickly on the skin. I have tried eye creams in the past that sits on the skin or is so rich that it causes milia on the skin - this does not do it. While I do not have wrinkles and cannot speak to that, it did help with the puffiness in the mornings. It didn't cure my dark circles but it didn't get worse. 

LUSH Ultrabland Cleanser -I like to use this on days that I have heavier makeup. I smooth it onto my face directly and massage it to remove the product and then wipe off. I follow up with an additional cleansing of the skin with soap but the Ultrabland does a great job already with removing the make-up on the skin while having the essential oils leaving it feel soft and hydrated, smelling great. I will for sure get to buying a full size bottle soon as this was a sample that lasted me about 3-4 times.


MAKEUP:
Tarte Clean Slate 360 eye primer - This primer works well on the lid to make eyeshadows pigmented and adds to the staying power. I'm not sure if I will repurchase this just yet as there are so many on the market right now. 

TEEEZ Cosmetics Cloud Nine Liquid Eyeliner (Electric Aqua) - If you're looking for a great teal/turquoise metallic liner, this one is for you. It's opaque, pigmented and is beautiful. Too bad I rarely have the opportunity to wear something so bold or else it will be a continued repurchase. 

KVD Tattoo Liquid Liner (Trooper) - this was my go-to liner for a long time, but since then I've found a replacement that I've been using that I love which is the Fenty liquid liner or the Clio Kill Black liner. 

INGLOT AMC Cream Blush - Great cream blush, works well and a little goes a long way. I've had this for so long (about 3 years) and I barely made a dent. I'm parting ways with it because it's just been so long it's the right thing to do. Though I enjoyed this product, I will repurchase this later on as blushes are my weakness and there's just so many more I want to try out first.

PUR Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick - I really enjoy the almost whipped feeling of this liquid lipstick. One layer is all that is required and it is not streaky in application nor does it dry and flake off. I will eventually get to repurchasing some more colors!

Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything you've used up and like/love!

Until next time, XO - M.

Review: IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce & Miracle Water*


IT Cosmetics has recently launched two new products housed in beautiful iridescent packaging. First we have the Miracle Water, which is a 3-in-1 Tonic ($48cad for 250ml) and then we have the Secret Sauce, an anti-aging moisturizer ($88cad for 60ml). 

The Miracle Water as mentioned above is a 3-in-1 Tonic, which is a Skin-Brightening Radiance Booster, Anti-Aging Treatment Essence and a Skin-Softening Micellar Cleanser all in one. It contains Radiance-boosting tonic to instantly brighten and hydrate your skin while purifying it. The Secret Sauce Fermented Complex deeply absorbs for a powerful anti-aging result that you can see immediately. It also contains Drops of Light Technology Concentrate, diamond powder, vitamin C and licorice root for youthful looking skin that makes you look like you are absolutely glowing from within. 

Personally, I like to use this as a Radiance Booster/Treatment Essence vs. as a Micellar Cleanser as it does leave behind product that you can feel on the face. Typically in Micellar Waters, I prefer something leaving the skin absolutely squeaky clean which is why I typically avoid oil based cleansers as well because I just like it when my face feels weightless afterwards if that makes sense. However, using it after cleansing my face as an essence made me feel all sorts of wonderful. It helped control the oil production on my face and also it made my skin feel more radiant and plump. I also felt like I regained some color to my face, like you know that "after the facial at a spa" look? I really enjoyed this product and will continue using it.

 

Above, we have the Secret Sauce, Anti-Aging Moisturizer which works to instantly hydrate and transform your skin. Like the above, it contains the Secret Sauce Fermented Complex, Drops of Light Technology, diamond powder, vitamin C and licorice root. In addition, it contains collagen, peptides and hyaluronic acid (my favorite) to really help with the hydration and overall youthful plump-ness of the skin. This skin appears to be thick as you can see from the jar, but it does absorb rather quickly on the face. I like to apply this at night before bed and just let it do its magic overnight while I'm sleeping. It is a bit rich as a day cream as I wear make-up so as a night-cream it's perfection. My skin looked radiant, hydrated and I even got compliments on how my skin looked very good. 

I do highly suggest purchasing these two products!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Joe Fresh Makeup*


I have been a user of Joe Fresh Cosmetics on and off through the past years and have included them in a few blog posts that you can find here if you're interested. They are a very reasonably priced make-up line that offers cosmetics that are on trend and great in quality and color selection. If you are interested in reading my review of the products above and seen below in my make-up look then keep on reading below...


Five Months Postpartum - my thoughts and journey so far...


I have never shared my pregnancy story with you all, perhaps I will at one point or another ... however, I thought that I could share my postpartum journey with you as I am going through it right now. As this is my own personal experience, please keep in mind that nothing below is meant to be insensitive to others - it is what I have personally experienced and how it has made me feel. I've talked to a few new moms recently who have also shared the same views/frustrations so I thought that someone else would probably read this and have felt or is currently feeling the same way at some point as well. Also, keep in mind that I had to narrow it down to just the main points so far, I can't share every single thought... so here goes....

1. Breastfeeding vs. Formula ~ I was one of those women who never had her milk production come in. I don't want to hear that I haven't tried hard enough, because I have. I tried lactation cookies, teas, soups and other concoctions. There was lots of frustration, guilt and overall anxiety about how I couldn't produce milk. My doctor even told me, sometimes it just doesn't happen to some women and you are one of them... and even my mom was asking why I was torturing myself to try to do this. Early on, my baby was losing too much body weight and was really battling jaundice and was told that he's not being fed enough.. so I finally turned to formula. My pediatrician said 15 minutes per boob and then the rest, top him up with formula - at a certain point if you're not producing enough milk and your baby is just working hard to suck nothing out... they are just burning more calories than they are absorbing. That made total sense to me ~ I am here to do what is best for my baby. That is my number one priority. 

What is really frustrating is those who (whether intentionally or not) like to express their opinions on formula feeding vs. breast feeding. How they never know what it's like to ever have had to use a bottle or wash one... how they're baby is only ever breast fed and how they're so lucky to have enough breast milk. I guess it's just knowing who you're talking to.. and knowing that each person has their sensitivities right? It's almost like now I completely get why it's so bad to ask people "when are you planning to have kids?" ~ How do you know that they're not trying? How do you know that they're not experiencing difficulties? How do you know that its not a choice that they're not having kids? Sometimes, it's better to just keep comments to yourself....there's no need to compare yourself to others. 

2. Unsolicited Advice ~ If you have to begin your sentence to someone with - here's some unsolicited advice for you... chances are, don't finish that sentence and don't bother saying what you have to say, especially if you are so distant from that person. 

3. Having an off day or days ~ We all have bad days there's no doubt about it, but just because I am a new mom, it does not automatically translate to postpartum depression. I completely agree that Postpartum Depression is a very serious topic that has to be discussed and there should be more transparency about it, however what I am talking about is just how being a new mom... and if I am just having a rough few days and you can see that I am having it, it should not directly translate to me having depression and thereby someone suggesting that I need help for it. I had someone very distant to me read on my instagram post that I was having a rough few days ~ and then began the "unsolicited advice on what I should do as a new mom and how I should address my depression before it gets worse". I don't think that is truly the way to handle something like that.. especially not via a DM on Instagram. 

4. Hairloss and Swelling ~ I was fortunate enough to not experience any swelling during my pregnancy, but approximately 1 month postpartum my ankles began to swell so badly that I couldn't even sit or stand without the skin in my ankles hurting when it folded because it was so swollen. It almost felt like the circulation was cutting off when I sat down. The hair loss is no joke - just when you think that the huge chunk you have lost during the shower in your drain is it, you then blow-dry your hair and the entire floor is covered with hair once again. That beautiful hair you have grown during pregnancy is now all on the floor and you have just about enough to make your very own cousin IT from Addams Family. That does stop though, now that I am 5 months postpartum it has finally slowed down and I see the baby hairs growing. 

5. The return of the period ~ I actually got my period back 4 months postpartum and yes it did suck after not having my period for about a year. What makes it worse is when people ask you if you got your period back yet and they say oh wow that sucks, I don't know how it feels like because I didn't get back for a year and a half. Sigh...no...just.. don't do that ...repeatedly to someone. It's not nice.

6. Getting intimate again... ~ when the time comes that you want to get intimate again after you have had your baby, know that things will definitely be different. Your lady bits went through alot during childbirth so sometimes, you may not be too loose but there are also cases where when you are stitched up, you have been over corrected. 

For those of you who are moms... what have been some of your postpartum experiences? 

Until next time, XO - M.

Review: Indeed Laboratories inDefense30*


I have been using products from Indeed Laboratories for a few years now, and you can read my previous posts here if you're interested. I love that they are created in Toronto and are a Canadian company. They created solid products that are extremely reasonable in price point and works. I was obsessed with the Vitamin C24 for a long time and took it with me on vacation as well to the Dominican Republic and it kept my skin in prestine condition and calmed any minor sunburn I got on my face. 

Anyways, onto the reason for this post.... the introduction of their newest product, the inDefense30. It retails for $19.99 and is something that is great for this summer weather, especially with all the heat waves we've been experiencing lately here in Toronto. It is a lightweight mineral sunscreen that protects your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It contains a key ingredient, Pycnogenol, which is a powerful antioxidant to promote the skin's ability to heal scars and rebuild collagen for smoother and younger skin. It also contains ingredients to help keep the moisture in your skin and also protect against hyperpigmentation and brown spots (what some people can also get from sun exposure).

You are to apply this approximately 15 minutes before sun exposure, I typically just use this in place of my moisturizer before I put my makeup on if I'm going out. It leaves behind a very plump and moisturized feeling so it really helps to blend out my foundation well without clinging to any dry spots. On days where I am just running errands, I slap this on my face and then put a bit of concealer and some powder and blush and I'm out the door. It feels weightless on the skin and does not feel thick or uncomfortable like alot of sunscreens do. It also did not make my skin increase in oil production which is key.


As you can see from the above picture on the left, it is a thicker product so a little goes a long way when spread and thinned out. 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: L'Oreal Paradise Enchanted Collection*


This summer, L'Oreal has launched some juicy new products that smell of fresh peaches. The Paradise Enchanted Collection features an eyeshadow palette, two blushes, two liners and a brand new mascara primer. I have all these products swatched, reviewed and even used them in a look below, so if you're interested in seeing how these products perform, then keep on reading below!

Review: Live Clean Foaming Hand Soap*


Live Clean is at it again! I have been raving about them on social media and here on the blog, and my love for them really grew when I was pregnant (for those of you who didn't know). 

They have come out with Foaming Hand Washes in three different scents as seen in the photo above. They come in Lemon MintWhite Tea & Cherry and Vanilla Bean & Coconut. These are light and airy, yet it forms a rich creamy lather that cleanses your hands very well (even washes off any kitchen cooking grease or oily fingers). The formula contains Vitamin E and organic Aloe Vera to make sure that your hands stay very hydrated.  As always, Live Clean keeps their products natural and eco-friendly. 

As mentioned on their website, products are:
-98% plant based ingredients
- SLS and sulfate free
-  Petrolatum and phosphate free
- Silicone and phthalate free
- DEA and paraben-free
- Triclosan and benzalkonium chloride free
- Dye Free
- Pure Vegan
- Never tested on animals
- Cruelty Free
- Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested
- Biodegradable ingredients
- Recyclable packaging

Live Clean Foaming Hand Wash is available for purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Walmart, Jean Coutu, Amazon.ca and Well.ca

Overall, this is another win for Live Clean. The product's performance is exactly as described on their site and it treated my eczema prone hands very well and did not cause any flare-ups. I will for sure be purchasing this again in the future. I gifted one of these to my really good friend as part of her house-warming basket because everyone deserves some Live Clean in their lives!

Until next time, XO -M.

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

Swatch: Zoya Sunshine Collection*


For Summer 2018, Zoya has released their Sunshine Collection which features 12 polishes that scream summer! It's fun, bright and utterly perfection. I have swatched all of them below for you so that you can see how they translate from bottle to my hand and how its like dried down. All of the polishes required two coats to achieve full opacity and were not patchy. 

Zoya definitely makes my favorite creme finishes, if you try it out you will know what I mean. They have really developed a quality product and whenever I need something reliable, I always go to them. I have been using Zoya polishes for so many years.




My favorite shades are Minnie, Ellie, Virginia and Saldana as a top coat is truly unique with its purple silver shift. What are yours?

What is great about Zoya is that they are safe for Pregnant Moms! With their wide variety of finishes and shades you are bound to find something that will suit your personal taste. You will no longer feel guilty for wearing nail polish when you're pregnant. I wish I had remembered this when I was pregnant, I went 9 months without any polish and I was going crazy because I am the type of girl that does her nails 1-2x a week. 


Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Jouviance Hydractiv Coconut Melting Balm*


I have previously written about Jouviance before, it is a Canadian skincare company that is developed by dermatologists. This summer, they released their Coconut Melting Balm which I have been using for so many things on both myself and baby! It is an amazing multi-tasking product that can be used as a body moisturizer, baby butter, belly balm, lip moisturizer, hair mask and serum, hydrating night mask and I even use it on my eczema patches on my hand and my dry cuticles. 

All of the methods of use above are pretty self explanatory, but on baby I like to use it as a diaper balm to prevent diaper rashes! It is also suggested that it can be used as a massaging component for the baby. It is safe for use for babies (clearly) as well as pregnant women on their baby bumps to cure any dry and itchy skin from the stretching and to help address or prevent some stretch marks.


As you can see below, the product is housed in a very generous plastic container that holds 220ml of product and is priced at $45.  The ingredients include: Coconut Oil (50% cold pressed, non-hydrogenated, non-deodorized), 50% coconut oil of first pressure and deodorized by steam, essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, Pro-A, B3 and phytosterols. It also includes Hyaluronic Acid which I have constantly raved about on this blog - it is said to give the skin moisture and helps with fine lines and wrinkles by gently plumping it. 

For those who are interested, Coconut Oil is organic, vegan, high-quality and gmo, cruelty and phthalate free. 

The one thing I extremely appreciated was the scent. I really dislike super artificial smelling coconut products or ones that smell too waxy. However, this smells like fresh coconut cream almost - its natural, and has not been messed around with. 

The balm melts really quickly onto the skin and does not leave a thick layer behind. When using it as a moisturizer, I prefer using it at night right after I shower, before I hop into bed. 


This is a highly recommended product to purchase! It is worth every penny considering it is so multipurpose.

Until next time, XO - M.

*product was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own.

Swatch: Essie Gel Couture Wedding Collection by Reem Acra*


Essie has collaborated with bridal and formal occasion designer, Reem Acra to create a collection of six polishes to capture the excitement of the royal wedding. This is in the gel couture formulation and I have swatched them all below. In addition, I have also noted how many layers it took to achieve the swatches below. 

640 - Picture Perfect - three layers ~ this is almost like a translucent formulation, with one layer you could very well pair it with a french tip manicure. 
610 - Handmade of Honor - one layer ~ the perfect metallic rose gold that went on effortlessly.
650 - You're Golden - two layers ~ this is a true gold that goes on streak free.
620 - Getting Intricate - two layers ~ one layer is enough but two gives you that bold baby bird breakfast blue.
630 - Moments to Mrs. - three layers ~ this is a sheer formulation that contains gold flecks within. It almost looks like a jelly finish and is very unique.
660 - Forever Family - one layer ~ this is my favorite shade out of the entire collection. One layer is all it took to give a flawless finish.
I'd love to know which one is your favorite! Mine would have to be Forever Family and Handmade of Honor.

Until next time, XO - M

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