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Review: My Current Skincare Routine - September 2019*

I have been using the above products to help my skin transition into the colder weather and I have to say these items have been key in calming down the break-outs I was getting before. Near the end of the hot summer season, my skin started freaking out and I was trying to find different ways to tame it, and I think the above products really did that job for me so of course I had to share it with you guys.

I have previously in detail written about my skin routine/regiment, the steps involved etc, so this blog post will really just focus on products and why I like them!

This exfoliator starts off with very granular exfoliating bits (sugar) that melts away when massaged on the face. It says it can be a face wash but I do not go near my eyes with this (just in case). I use it on my t-zone area especially around my nose and I find that it does a really good job keeping my black heads at bay. It doesn't dry out my skin either and has a very light almost citrus scent.

This is my favorite facial scrub I have ever tried. It warms upon contact and legit feels like a spa experience in a tube. It does an amazing job clearing out any congestion or black heads in my problem areas and also helps regulate the oil production. LOVE LOVE LOVE, I want a lifetime supply of this!

This is a very light weight gel cleanser that helps rid my face of all traces of makeup while hydrating it at the same time. It does not strip the skin or leave it feeling squeaky and dry/tight. This is suitable for all skin types and has a nice consistency to it, not too runny which means you won't use too much. I use about a dime size each time so this will last me a while!

To truly rid my skin fo black heads and any uneven parts/discolouration this has been a life saviour. It contains witch hazel water to brighten and refine the skin, and ingredients like lemon, sugar cane, licorice root, chamomile to soothe and condition the skin.AHA (glycolic and lactic acid) help to gently exfoliate the skin to reduce the dark spots I mentioned above, fine lines and wrinkles. Give me a litre bottle and a pump for this baby. I need it!

Serum, Lotion and Eye Cream:
Very gentle scent, light weight and hydrates the life out of my skin while being thin and absorbs quickly therefore not prolog-ing the rest of my skincare routine. I usually use one pump and gently massage it to the face in an upwards motion.

I recently wrote a post about Jowae products and how they have been such a pleasure to work with and agrees with my skin. This lightweight cream melts onto the skin, absorbs quickly and allows me to then proceed with my makeup application effortlessly. 

This is pricy I have to admit but it works! It is super light-weight (notice a theme? I love light-weight products that don't make me feel greasy or heavy). I use one pump on my fourth finger and share it with the other fourth finger and gently pat on my panda eye bags. It helps to keep the area moisturized, improves on any look of tiredness/sagginess and just makes me look more put together, less like I only sleep 3-4 hours a night.

Have you tried any of these products out? How often do you change your skincare routine?

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review & Swatch: What's new to Avon - August 2019*

Avon has launched some new makeup items that I'm excited to share with you! The mattitude/soft matte liquid lipsticks are weightless, non-drying, and are super pigmented. One swipe gives you even color distribution to the lips and I love how my lips do not shrivel up and feel tight. These liquid matte lipsticks are infused with poppy seed oil and vitamin E to help nourish and smooth out the lips. Added bonus is that they are paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free and retails for $15 cad each and comes in 8 shades.

The Glimmershadow Liquid Eyeshadows retail for $10 each and is available in a shimmer or glitter formulation. It is silky, light-weight and is a water-infused butter base which blends easily, dries smoothly and layers well without being patchy. It is paraben free and comes in 8 different shades. 

Above are the new True Color Glimmersticks Eyeliners that retail for $9 each and offers 10 hours of shimmery color.  Once applied you do get a few seconds of wiggle and playing room and then after that it is set and is waterproof. It is retractable so you dont have to worry about carrying a sharpener with you. 

Out of each of the new collections launched, my favorite are the Devoted liquid matte lipstick, Fools Gold and Bronze Age liquid eyeshadow and Toasted / Olive of the eyeliners. Which ones speak to you?

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review& Swatch: Zoya - Sensual Collection (Fall 2019)*

You can't deny it even you wanted to, the temperatures are dropping, the air is cooler, evenings and mornings are more crisp and the leaves are changing colors and i'm all for it. Sign me up for the leggings, oversized sweaters and fall colors, the burgundies, berries, darker hues and a good old neutral shade. 

Zoya's Fall 2019 collection just about sums up my color palette for this season and the formulations come in cream and metallic. 

From left to right: 

Joss - a beautiful baby pink neutral (cream)
KInsley - caramel beige with a slight blush tone (cream)
Foster - the shade of milk chocolate, mmm (cream)
Briar - red-toned teracotta (cream)
Margaret - vivid aubern red (cream)
Rashida - ruby red with red micropearl (shimmer)

Etta - dark cabernet with violet micropearl (shimmer)
Michaela - dusty purple taupe (cream)
Ripley - rich boysenberry (cream)
Vesper - violet grey (cream)
Elliot - dark ocean blue (cream)
Ashton .- silverish black tone with a scattered silver micropearl (shimmer)

These polishes have an amazing formulation, I've said this before with all of my past Zoya posts, their cream tones can often give you a flawless finish in one layer. Their shimmers I would recommend two. 

My favorite shades are Foster, Kinsley, Vesper and Ashton - what are yours?

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Royal and Langnickel OMNIA® Professional Makeup Brushes*

The Omnia Professional make-up brushes are made of 100% Omnilux filaments, which is a revolutionary new vegan synthetic hair produced using patented nanotechnology.Each hair filament is manipulated at a molecular level to be superior to natural hair. 

I personally own a wide variety of make-up brushes, some luxury ones handmade by Japanese artisans with real hair, as well as synthetic ones. When I use these brushes and compare them to my Japanese real hair brushes, it really is a hard time for me to find and notice a difference between the two.

The hairs on this brush are super soft and perform the same in terms of product dispensing and placement/pick-up. 

Below I have included a photo of all the brushes sent to me, as well as a description from their site on each brush, and a short review from me as well as what and how I like to use these specific brushes.

Each brush comes individually packaged and some of the bigger brushes have a plastic holder for it. The other luxurious feeling of the brush is the handle, that it is really sturdy and feels almost like a matte rubber-like texture. It gives it such a posh feel as opposed to your regular standard slippery handle.

From left to right:

Omnia Professional BOM-195Bronze the face delicately or brush off excess powder with this deluxe-sized fan brush.
Thoughts: The wide fan of the brush allows for a very diffused look of bronzer around the circumference of the face. It makes the bronzer look very diffused and airbrushed with no harsh lines. You can easily use this as a highlight on the cheekbones brush as well.

Omnia Professional BOM-130This long, round brush tapers into a pointed tip to apply powder product with expert precision
Thoughts: This brush performs and is used for exactly what it says - powder application, whether it be a powder foundation or setting powder. I pick some up with the brush and gently roll and press onto my face if it is for setting powder. If it is for foundation I gently buff it and swirl the product on my face.

Omia Professional BOM-251This large duo-fiber style brush stipples powder, cream, or liquid product for a light, airy finish.
Thoughts: This brush is pretty wide so I like to even use it for bronzer application for a diffused look, and also for any cream based product like cream blush or powder foundation if I am going for a sheer natural coverage.

Omnia Professional BOM-185: This smaller, dense, dome-shaped brush meticulously blends complexion makeup into small areas of the face. Its narrow shape also makes it perfect for contouring.
Thoughts: I like this for cream contour or bronzer products as well as liquid foundation application. It has a smaller more defined dome shape to it that allows for more precise application to the face. 

Omnia Professional BOM-265Apply a concentrated, dazzling highlight to the face for a radiant look
Thoughts: This powder is perfect for precise highlight application on my cheekbones - it has a medium density so it picks up a good amount of product but can also give you a more sheer finish when you tap off some product.

Omnia Professional BOM-415This traditional eyeshadow brush features an oval shape that uniformly blends color over the entire lid.
Thoughts: This is a pretty straight-forward all over the lid eyeshadow brush. 

Omnia Professional BOM-490: Ideal for creating clean, precise lines, this small-sized brush features a narrow, angled edge
Thoughts: This is great for brows and eyeliner!

Omnia Professional BOM-435The expertly tapered bristles on this small brush allow for flawless, detailed smudging at the lash line.
Thoughts: I like this for more precise crease work, like a defined crease or cut crease. The brushes are dense and so it dispenses the product very well. 

Omnia Professional BOM-460Create bold definition in the crease and outer corners of the eyes.
Thoughts: This brush is very unique to me as I do not believe I have ever used one that shape. This makes buffing out color to your outer V and crease a breeze! as well as diffusing any harsh lines!

Omnia Professional BOM-420Intensify your look by lightly smudging liner and shadows with the tapered tip.
Thoughts: I use this just for my outer V to put color into it and create definition and contrast or to smoke out a look. 

I definitely recommend that you take a look at these brushes as they are priced very reasonably as well - you can get a face brush like the large duo-fiber brush for $18.99 usd and an eye brush, the traditional eyeshadow brush (BOM-415) for $9.99 usd which is all very reasonable and fair!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review & Swatch: Bio Sculpture - On The Reef Collection*

This beautiful and vibrant nail polish set from BIO SCULPTURE is called the "On The Reef" Collection. It comes in both gel and polish formulations, the gel one is available only for professional salon-only use and the nail polish is for everyday at-home use. 

Below I have all five of the polishes swatched - we have:
248 - Tropical Sunray - vibrant yellow lemon shade
246 - Island Surf - peach tone
249 - Coral Cluster - coral orange-toned pink
250 - Radiant Starfish - vibrant hot pink
247 - Mermaid's Tale - silver shift with reflect sequins and glitter flecks.

The polishes are not only beautiful to look at, but you can typically get away with one coat. The swatches below are done with one and it has a wide brush tip for effortless application. In addition, the formula contains a nourishing vitamin-fortified blend so you are also getting added benefits to your nails.

You can always use these polishes to create your own designs, or even by layering like I did with shades 246 & 247. I am loving the formulations of these polishes and am looking forward to trying more out in the future!!

Until next time - XO, M

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

Review: Mugler - Aura Mugler Sensuelle Eau de Parfum*

Most recently to join the Mugler family is Aura Mugler Sensuelle Eau de Parfum, a unique perfume that is woodsy, floral and warm. It is Made in France, retails for $105 and you get 50ml in a bottle. The photo truly does no justice to the beauty of this bottle. It looks like a precious stone and reflects light beautifully and stands as a statement piece on your dresser and is the size of your palm.

Truth be told, I was always a fan of Mugler fragrances, I loved smelling them from the bottle and when I smell this on someone, I always ask what it is and they would tell me it was a Mugler Perfume, and I would be so surprised because I was never able to pull off the scent. However, this new fragrance has notes of the original but is almost a lighter version mixed with a "fresher" twist. This perfume sits really well on me and I love that I am finally able to find a Mugler fragrance that compliments me.

Notes of this perfume include: Gardenia, Cinnamon Leaf, White Musk and Sri Lankan Sandalwood.

The perfume that I reference to above that I love the smell of but could never wear is Angel Eau de Parfum. Below, we have the new Angel Standing Star Eau de Toilette. It is a lighter version of the original Angel, a fresher 2.0 and is Made in France. It is 50ml and retails for $96. This has fruitier notes of mandarin and natural apple and the floral note of peony (my favorite flower). It is all wrapped in a warmer note of praline and patchouli to balance it all out without making it too sweet.

 I am so happy to have two lighter versions of the original Angel Eau de Parfum to add to my rotation now! Which Mugler fragrance is your favorite? Which of the two are you excited to try out!?

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: KOSMEA Australia Skincare*

I was graciously sent a few items from a brand new skincare line to me, called KOSMEA.  The name comes from Ancient Greece meaning to harmonize and bring to balance. It was created with its key ingredient in mind, certified organic rosehip oil. The brand in itself strives on the quality of their product and stand by their commitment to its integrity, which is something I respect. They chose to use key ingredients in their skincare, vs relying on chemicals. 

To provide you with some information on what certified organic rosehip oil is, I have included some information from their website below from the creator: 
"Certified organic rosehip oil and its unique ability to nourish and balance all skin types is the foundation of Kosmea Australia...Crammed with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, I learnt that rosehip oil was ideal for dry, scarred, sensitive and sun-damaged skin. I was intrigued.
I was impressed with the results that rosehip had on my skin. I couldn’t think of any other product that was completely natural and affordable, and could be used for a baby’s nappy rash, a teenager’s pimples, sun damaged skin of any age, or a grandmother’s dry, sensitive skin. Surely other people would share my enthusiasm when they tried it and saw the results for themselves. And they did."

Review: DIY Effortless Gel Nails at home with Sensationail*

As those of you who follow my blog will know by now, I am an avid nail polish user and I do pride myself on being able to do my own nails at home and not having to pay tons of money to visit the salon. 

On the rare occasion when I do go away for vacation, I like to splurge and treat myself to a manicure at the salon, especially a gel one. Well, when I decided to visit one a few months ago for my trip to the Dominican, it was a horrible mistake. They filed my nails down with the electric file so thin that I am still recovering, trying to prevent it from peeling. That led me to think, why do I pay so much money to go to a salon only to have them ruin my nails?! Why don't I look into perhaps doing gel at home again by myself? That way I can control how much I want to file my nail, how many coats I want etc. 

Well, as fate would have it, I had the opportunity of connecting with Sensational and was sent their starter kit which truly comes with everything you need to do gel nails at home. Gel nails have come a long way since I last did them at home myself a few years back. I remember back in the day it would take minutes to cure one coat. Now, 30 seconds per coat. AMAZING!

The lamp that it comes with is smaller than what you will see at the salon, which I do not have an issue with. It does the same job. I would advise you to do your four fingers first, cure it, then do your thumb separately and then cure it. Just so that all your fingers can sit comfortably and have equal curing time.

If you do not want to go through the trouble of removing gel nails at home, I purchased a peel off base coat so I could just pop them right off and then move onto the next color whenever I want to. 

Below I have the five colors swatched that I have been wearing, it's so hard for me to say which one is my favorite so I won't even start. All of their formulations in terms of staying time and curing time is the same. They do offer different finishes though like Bramble Gel-ly that is a pearl finish.

One thing I appreciate is the packaging of the polishes - the black container so that it won't accidentally cure the polish within if you are curing close by - obviously, try to avoid doing so. Also, the labels of the polishes are true to color of the swatch within.

These kits can be purchased at Walmart Canada and honestly, the price point is so good that you have nothing to lose. It is probably less than the price of one manicure. I did a quick browse on their site, the kit is $49.99 canadian and the polishes are $11.97 each. 

So once again, this is a definite purchase! 

Until next tine, XO - M.

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

Review: COACH - Floral Blush Eau de Parfum*

This summer, COACH has released Floral Blush that is a perfect floral fruity blend which is something right up my alley! It comes in the classic Coach fragrance bottle and the tassel charm this time is a beautiful pink flower. The entire packaging is cute, fun and sleek.

It retails for $96 for 50 ml or $123 for 90 ml and is made in France. The profile of the fragrance is as follows:
TOP NOTES: Goji Berry, Grapefruit
HEART NOTES: Peony, Peach
BASE NOTES: White Woods, Musks

I am really enjoying this fragrance, it isn't too sweet - it's a very light flowery note that first comes out and the grapefruit citrus takes over leaving me feel refreshed. I only need 1-2 pumps and it lasts for around 7-8 hours (I put it on before work and I can still get hints of it at the end of the work day).

I definitely will recommend this to those of you who enjoy the same scent profile as me! 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Jowaé Skincare*

Being a skincare junkie, I was really excited to be introduced to the brand Jowaé - which in Korean means harmony. The main philosophy behind the brand is to use products to help re-establish the balance of your skin from daily stresses that affect your skin, known aggressions. They utilize four simple steps to help the skin regain harmony, balance, luminosity and protection. 

They utilize natural-origin ingredients and all of their products contains zero parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil, silicon and ingredients of animal origin or synthetic colorant. It is ideal for sensitive skin and has a very subtle and pleasing scent.

As mentioned above, the four fundamental steps of Korean skincare - 1. Cleanse 2. Prepare 3. Activate and 4. Correct. I go into more detail of each product below - please note that there are several products for each stage of the skincare process/steps, what I have mentioned in this post and below is what was sent to me for my skin type.

STEP 1 - Purifying Cleansing Gel - $20.50 (200ml)
This is the one I'm using for my combo to oily skin, it helps to rinse my face of any last traces of makeup, I do use some micellar water to remove the majority of my makeup off first. It effectively cleanses the face without stripping it or leaving behind that squeaky feel. This product is comprised of 89% natural products and it is a gel formulation that works into a gentle foam. I use this both night and day.

STEP 2 - Hydrating Water Mist - $19 (200ml)
This is suitable for all skin types and can be applied anytime of the day, as part of your skincare routine or even as a refresher throughout the day. It helps to wake the skin up to receive the skincare treatments you are about to apply and is composed of 97% natural ingredients. It contains Sakura Blossom Water, Pure Water and Botanical Glycerin. It has a very light mist and is said to be inspired by the Korean lotions used after makeup removal to prepare the skin for daily care. If you find yourself having applied too much, then just gently pat into the skin with your hands as opposed to wiping away with a cloth or tissue.

This is  for all skin types and works to reduce dark spots, brightens and evens out the complexion. It contains 89% natural ingredients and contains Youth and Complexion Correcting White Tea and Antioxidant and Brightening VitaminsE and B3. This is a light emulsion that is unlike anything I've ever felt before - it comes out almost thick-like but then melts into your skin leaving behind a soft and powdery finish. I use this in the morning on my face and neck.

STEP 4 - Moisturizing Light Cream - $30 (40ml)
This cream is suitable for those with normal to combination skin. It is very light-weight, almost like a gel and absorbs quickly into the skin leaving it feeling hydrated and refreshing. It contains Sakura Blossom Water and Moisturizing Pine Extract with Vitamin E - It is comprised of 88% of natural products.

Products for the body: 
Left: Revitalizing Moisturizing Lotion - $28 (400ml)
This is suitable for those with normal to dry skin and has a very light weight texture that helps the skin e softer, more supple and luminous. It almost has a gel-like texture and sinks into the skin very quickly. It contains 97& natural ingredients and contains Bamboo Water, Shea Butter, Sunflower and Emollient Soy Oil. 

Right: Hand and Nail Nourishing Cream - $10 (650 ml)
This is for dry or damaged hands and works amazingly on my cuticles as well. It is a thicker texture but is not greasy at all. It contains 96% natural ingredients and has Camellia Oil, Shea Butter and Coconut Oil to name a few of the ingredients. 

I have been really enjoying this new line of skincare that I have been introduced to and would like to try even more from their line, including the Balancing Mattifying Fluid, expecially for the warmer summer season when my skin goes a bit oilier in the t-zone. The fragrance of these products are very subtle, there is a slight variance to each of the products but all are relatively mild and nothing that is too overwhelming or obnoxious. This is great for those who have sensitive skin, or even are sensitive to fragrances. 

Of all the products I have tried, my favorite would probably be the hand lotion and the corrector. 

Until next time, XO - M.

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