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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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zoya summer 2020, zoya summer swatches, zoya splash swatches, zoya splash collection, zoya summer nailpolish
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.

Review, Swatch and Tutorial: CATRICE x EMAN Collection*

I was so excited to learn that the cult favorite German drugstore makeup brand Catrice was coming to Canada - and to actually see this on shelves at Shoppers Drug Mart was fantastic! I have heard so much about this brand, and seen enough tutorials on YouTube to know that this is definitely a product worth trying. 

I was graciously sent the following products to review and test out, and what better way to do that then to do a makeup tutorial and do some swatches for you! 

The Catrice x EMAN collection includes 3 palettes featured below, from left to right - Eyeshadow, a Highlighter and Blush, each retailing $14.99 cad. Each palette swatched beautifully with one finger swipe onto my arm (as pictured below) and was done on my bare skin, not on top of any type of primer.  It is extremely pigmented and my goodness, I have honestly found a new drugstore favorite and the bonus is the price tag, it is actually affordable. I find that so many drugstore brands in Canada now are priced very high and is almost close to department store prices which doesn't help the budget-conscious consumer. Catrice is really shaking the drugstore market and I'm all for it!

The Eyeshadow palette - comes in 9 shades housed within a thick coardboard package with a solid mirror. It contains 5 mattes, four shimmers and are all equally pigmented and the mattes are buttery and easy to blend out. These shadows have performed better than even some high-end shadows so I am very excited to add this neutral palette to my collection (I'm all about neutrals for those who know me). 

The Highlighter palette comes in four different shades that can rightfully cater to all skin tones from fair to dark. Very pigmented with one swipe so this is definitely buildable from a subtle sheen to a blinding highlight that can be seen a mile away. 

The Blush palette is also extremely pigmented (can you see a common theme by now?) and literally requires the most gentle tap with the brush on the pan to achieve a flush of color to the cheeks. 

As for the rest of the face products that were sent to me to try out for my look include
1. Prime and Fine Multitalent Fixing Spray ($9.99) - I used this as a setting spray to seal in my look and I lasted through an entire workday with no issues. My make-up didn't budge and I did not have to touch up at all.
2. Keep Me Matt - Prime and Fine Pore Refining Anti-Shine Base - This helped my makeup not look greasy as the day went on. It filled my pores as well and created a smooth canvas for my foundation to go on. Another win!
3. Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer ($7.99) - A bit thicker in consistency but blended out like a dream and covered my dark eye circles like a dream (as you can see in the photo below I don't even have a hint of panda eye bags - woo!). The concealer is also a tad peach in tone? so it worked to counter the darkness and color correct.
4. Generation Plump and Shine Lipgloss ($7.99) - LOVE this gloss, it wasn't sticky or tacky which I really like. I hate it when I feel like I have a thick paste on my lips so this one felt almost like water? weightless and comfortable with a cushion like feel. It also helped to make my lips look a bit fuller so woo!

Below I have used the palettes to create two different looks for you - on the left we have a blown out neutral smokey eye perfect for date night and on the right, an everyday look I would wear to work with a subtle cut crease. 
Honestly, every product I have tried by Catrice is a slamdunk and I am so excited to try out more products from them. For those of you have previously read my blog or know me in person, will know that I always say that brands rarely have the ability to make every product perform consistently but I think that Catrice is a true exception. Of the 7 products sent to me, I have nothing bad to say about them so truly, I want to try out even more products form them as soon as possible!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Vichy - Mineral 89 Skincare Collection*

The Vichy Mineral 89 Skin Booster has been so good to me over the past year that I've been sharing this with my coworkers and friends anytime I have an extra sample give out. I know that when I give it to them, they will become in love with it as well thereby leading them to go out and repurchase it. It's true! I just got one of my coworkers addicted to it and she even said that it is better than some of the higher end stuff she's tried, and that speaks volumes as you can buy this at your drugstore and at a super reasonable price! If you're interested in learning all about the product, you can read about it on my previous post or on their site Vichy Mineral 89 Fortifying and Hydrating Daily Skin Booster with Hyaluronic Acid  which retails for $39.95/50mL. 

I was super excited to learn that they added a new product targeting eyes to the Mineral 89 line, which is called the Vichy Mineral 89 Eye Repairing Fortifier with Prue Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid. It retails for $34.95 and you get 15mL. To use, I apply one pump (yes you read correctly, one pump) on my fourth finger and then dot it on both my eyes in the eye bag region and gently massage and disperse the product around my eyes. It contains the same lightweight texture that is non greasy and cooling. 

Did you know that it is called Mineral89 because it contains 89% Vichy Thermal Water in its formulation in conjunction with hyaluronic acid (to hydrate) and pure caffeine to depuff, brighten and decrease the look of dark circles. 

The formulation is also hypoallergenic, free of parabens, fragrance, alcohol, silicone and oils, which is suitable for those with sensitive skin.

I can't wait to share this with my friends and coworkers again, I know they will love it as much as I do! 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Giveaway: Benefit Cosmetics - Brow Superstars!*

Benefit Cosmetics sure makes the cutest gift sets for the holiday season! I mean normally they're packaging is already beautiful, but their holiday stuff is always the perfect time to try various items at an amazing price point! The Benefit Brow Superstars! set is no exception, you get 6 full-sized items specifically tailored to help you deliver the best brows you can possibly attain at home for $79 canadian (right now it is on sale for $66 on sephora! woo!)

I am in shade 4, and to be honest I have a use for each and every item provided in the kit! I don't do my brows the same everyday, I mean okay I use the brow gel everyday and the 24-hour brow setter, but sometimes I do alternate between the Goof Proof Brow Pencil, Ka-Brow and Precise, My Brow depending on how strong of a brow I'd like. What I am really trying to say that this kit is truly customizable to what type of brow routine you would like. 

You can even house the products in the stand it comes in and it'll look beautiful on your vanity!

The lovely team at Benefit Cosmetics Canada has offered two of my readers a chance to win their very own Brow Superstars! set!! The two shades available are shades 2 and 4 - the winner will get the chance to pick between the two shades. 

1. Please do not follow just to unfollow on Instagram, it's unkind and dishonest! I will be checking if you have followed both accounts (mine @mirandachan and @benefitcanada) when the winner is selected. 
2. Giveaway is open to Canadian Residents Only! 
3. Winners have 48 hours to respond to my notification e-mail, failure to do so will result in me selecting a new winner (this is to just keep the ball rolling and not hold-up the process)
4. Prize pack is not mailed out by me, but I will be facilitating with the process with the winner.
Good Luck everyone!

Until next time, XO - M.
*prize pack is provided by Benefit Cosmetics Canada