July 2015 Favorites

For the month of July, every one of my favorites was something that I used everyday in my skin care and makeup routine. For some reason, when it's the summer, the warmer months make the makeup I choose simple and lighter. For e.g., I tend to stay away from liquid foundations and opt for a light powder. 

Favorites include: 
1. Buxom Custom Made Palette
2. Becca - Champagne Pop Hilighter
3. Charlotte Tilbury - Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (Medium)
4. Colour Pop shadow - LALA
5. Clinique Color Pop Blush - Heather
6. Colour Pop Lippie - Lumiere
7. B.Kamins - Renewal Serum
8. B. Kamins - Night Cream
9. NARS - ITA Brush
10. Hakuhodo - Powder Face Brush

What have been some of your favorites this month? I'd love to hear from you!!

XO, M.

My current skincare routine ft. B.Kamins*

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to try out some products from B.Kamins. To be honest, I had always seen these products and knew about the brand but never got around to trying it until I was approached with it. Let me tell you, I wish I had discovered this earlier in my life.

Just a small intro to B.Kamins for those that are new to this brand. B.K is a clinical skincare line that is also used in professional spas. They are a Canadian company and have a lab in Montreal where all of these goodies are produced. You can purchase their products via their website and I've also seen it at select Shoppers/Murale. It is important to note that the ingredients and products are regulated by Health Canada, that means you know it contains quality ingredients being used to create/produce this line of skincare.

Products that were sent for my review include:
1. Vegetable Cleanser
2. Day Lotion SPF 15
3. Renewal Serum
4. Night Cream
5. Diatomamus Earth Mask- Dry to Normal Skin 

I had a wonderful phone consultation with the amazing Ryan, and a few months later I actually had the chance to spend the day with him and I'm looking forward to the next time he's coming back to Toronto! He gave me a quick run through of how to use these products and I thought I'd pass them along to my wonderful readers, and let you know my thoughts about them!

1. Vegetable Cleanser - Day & Night - This is a vegetable based gel cleanser and makeup remover all in one. It is perfect for all skin types - dry, combo, oily. When applied and lightly massaged into your skin, it dissolves and removes any trace of dirt and makeup from your face and is gentle enough to be used around your eyes. This is fragrance, oil and color free and can be used on the most sensitive skin. It helps maintain the moisture balance in your skin and improves skin's smoothness and elasticity. They say you can also use this for shaving (but I haven't done that yet).

You will need to use 2-3 pumps per application. Please note that if you are used to really foamy cleansers, you might not be used to this one. This works up a small lather, but don't let that fool you because it works really well.

A tip Ryan gave me was that you should always clean your skin twice, especially if you have been out all day and use makeup etc on your face. The first cleanse helps to remove all the makeup from your face. The second cleanse helps to lather and lift the dirt/oil.

2. Renewal Serum - Night - This product contains glycolic acid, lemon and orange acid and provides you with a gentle exfoliation on your face. It is recommended that you use this every night. This is suitable for all skin types, except hyper sensitive skin. It is beneficial for sun and environmentally damaged skin as it helps to accelerate the rate of cell renewal and refines your skin texture. It can be used for hydrating acne-prone skin and helps to diminish acne scars.

3. Earth Mask - Once a week - This is a nutrient rich product suitable for dry to normal skin. It contains magnesium, iron, calcium and sodium to rejuvenate dull skin. There is one especially made for normal to oily skin (so no fret). You apply a thin layer of this product, let it sit for at least 30 minutes and let it work its magic. When drying, it grabs onto your blackheads and dead skin cells. Use a washcloth or muslin cloth and dampen with warm water to rub off - this helps to exfoliate your skin. You may feel a slight tingle when applying this mask, so do not be surprised. It is the menthyl lactate component in the mask that helps to calm redness and even out skin tone. Please make sure you follow-up by moisturizing your skin after.

4. Day Lotion SPF 15 - Day - This is an oil-free formula and is perfect for all seasons, especially summer. It absorbs quickly in your skin so that you don't feel the weight of it on your face. I am able to put this on and put on makeup within minutes so it's a win (also it contains SPF, perfect! and it doesn't break me out - double win!). This is said to act as a primer for makeup as well, however, I still like to use a little pore filler around my nose.

* One thing to note is that ever since I have used the B.Kamins products, I have noticed that I am not using as much primer on my face. My pores have reduced, my skin is hydrated and my oily face is under control. I used to be super high maintenance and apply a hydrating spray, a oil reducing primer AND a pore filler. (Yes - three products just to prep my face before applying my actual makeup. However now, I don't have to!)

5. Night Cream - Night - I think this has got to be one of my favorite products. It contains 7% Vitamin E which you can actually see in your cream. They are little blue capsules formulated with Episphere-Bluetechnology which is heat-activated and time release d to deliver anti-oxidant Vit E to help moisturize and repair your skin. This is ultra rich and hydrating and is formulated with skin plumping soluble collagen. When used, I wake up the next morning with beautiful plump and visibly smoother skin. You need the smallest amount as this is really rich. I use one dab and dot it on my cheeks, forehead and chin and rub it upwards on my face. (I learnt this trick to prevent premature sagging). Remember, use very little!! :) Like I previously said, the use of this product with the other products in this line has helped my skin immensely. I'm a convert!

I hope you find this review helpful and I really encourage you to try this brand out :) Let me know if you have any specific questions, I will do my best to answer all of them!

Until next time - XO, M.

July 2015 Ipsy Bag

This month's IPSY Bag's theme is Summer Lovin and from the contents of the bag, I couldn't agree more. In the summer, I find myself using less makeup as it's so hot out, that I don't want half my face melting off with sweat.. (so attractive eh?)

Usually I go for a light tinted moisturizer or foundation, concealer and some bronzer, cream foundation and a lip tint - this package was perfect for me this month and I got the chance to try out some products I haven't previously done before as well!

This month's bag includes:
1. Octavio Molina Hair - La Playa sea Salt Spray Infused with Algae Extract
2. Aurora - Gel Effect Nail Polish
3. Be a Bombshell Cosmetics - Lip Balm (tinted)
4. Tarte - Deluxe Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer (Park Ave Princess)
5. Vasanti - Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser! - Quite excited to try this, I love trying out new exfoliators!

So far, I've tried out most of the products, so I'll give a mini review below:

1. Aurora Gel Effect Nail Polish - Love the formula and staying power. I went 6 days without chipping and I'm always using my hands - whether it may be doing chores, washing dishes, cooking or working. That's pretty impressive. Only downside I can think of is the polish brush is a bit wide. So I had to be really careful with the pinky and most of the time, painting to the edges was a bit difficult due to its flat U-shaped brush.

2. Octavio Hair Spray - I spray this in my hair after I've created loose curls for a soft wavey look. Pretty good, not sure if I'd repurchase as most of the time I just use a light setting spray and its fine, and this didn't create beachy waves on my dead straight hair. The only way this worked for me is if I already created texture myself. 

3. Tarte - Bronzer, I have tried this previously before a few times. I haven't used it this time yet, however I already know what to expect :) It's a good product! However, as for its waterproof capabilities, I wouldnt go diving in a pool with this on and expect it to stay. It does however stay on even if you happen to sweat a bit or if it rains. 

What are some of the products you got this month in your Ipsy Bag? If you've subscribed to other beauty subscription services and love it, please share!

July Guest Post ft. Samantha from Beautiful, Free and Wonderful

Hello All You Beautiful People, I'm Samantha from Beautiful, Free and Wonderful. This month's CBB theme is Canada Love. I first want to thank the lovely Miranda. So what does Canadian love means to me? To me Canadian love means supporting small business that are local or within your country. So I will be showing you, my top five canadian brands and products that I love. So lets get started.
1. Eat Sleep Polish in Princess Peach. I am a big fan of video games and never thought I would get excited about a nail polish named after a video game character before. Till I saw this polish. It's a perfect pink that I can get away with wear any season. Also the name just brings you back to your childhood of playing super Mario games.
2. Sweet Leilani Hawaiian Petal Lip Pumping in the shade Coral Reef I remember going over for a trip over to the island on the ferry and walking into the gift shop. Finding this brand changed the way I look at lipsticks. It has the Mac quality with the price of being only 15 dollars. Also it's vegan and cruelty free.
3. LilLuxSoapworks Bath Bombs These are my fave. bath bombs. They smell amazing and they only cost 2.95 each. The store also offers you free shipping in USA and Canada when you buy bulk. The only downside is if you try to break them in half. There is a high change that they will crumble.
4. Beach Baby Bath & Body The Queen Collection I ended up falling in love with this collection. When I became obsessed with certain queens of the past or should I say obsessed with books by Philippa Gregory. They actually smell like what I thought the queens would smell like. Antoinette smells like lemon cake.,Elizabeth smells like a nice warm fire and Cleopatra smells like a nice bath oil. I was quite impress with the staying power. I only had to reapply the scent twice a day. I also will note that it comes in a roll on only.  
5. Elements Body Essentials Blueberry Scrub Soap Bar I don't like sugar scrubs cause they are sometimes too sticky. I don't like salt scrubs cause I tend to get small cuts and don't enjoy the stinging when it finds one. This blueberry scrub soap was the first time I found a scrub that worked for me. The blueberry seeds lasted till it was a tiny sliver of soap. I also recommend saving the soap slivers they make a excellent body wash. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my top five Canadian loved brands and products. You can follow me here. Enjoy your summer XXOO Samantha

Makeup Monday - Colour Pop Cosmetics

I finally decided to give into the hype of Colour Pop Cosmetics and purchase a few items to test out. The products purchased are:
3. Eyeshadow - LA LA, a beautiful Rose Gold which seems to be discontinued on the site?
4. Bronzer - Carry On

I used all the products above, minus LA LA to create this look for you. I chose to omit LA LA since it's no longer on the site for purchase at this current time. I hope you enjoy it!

The products come packaged very securely as you can see 

 It includes a Tips & Tricks card which teaches you which type of brushes to use for the best effect for these shadows. For those of you who don't know, the shadows almost a gel-like cushion mousse texture. For shadows, I find the best way to apply is with your fingers. For the bronzer I used a synthetic duo-fibre brush.

 An overview of my products purchased

Left to Right: Carry-On, La La and the Metamorphosis Quad. 

I've included swatches of the products for your reference.

Lumiere is actually a dupe for NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Anna. 

The Quad itself may look quite blah from the previous picture, you'll see that the white-ish shadow is actually a duo chrome color - it reflects a beautiful lilac tint in certain angles. 

La-La is a beautiful Rose Gold color and Carry-On is a lighter bronzer which doesn't show up orange on my skin - BONUS!

In the Metamorphosis Quad: I placed the matte light brown (Strength) in the crease, followed by a black shadow on my lids with Kindness patted all over. Kindness is a warm redish brown with gold, green and blue duo chrome. Finally, I used Bravery (a true medium matte brown) on the outer V and finished off with a black liquid liner. 

I completed the look with Lumiere on my lips.

Foundation: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation mixed with Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow.
Cheeks/Blush - Colour Pop- Heather. 
Concealer - Maybelline Fit Me in Medium
Brows - Chella.
Mascara - Dior Iconic Overcurl.

I'm hoping to add Makeup Mondays on my blog from now on :) So if you like my looks, I hope you'll come back nxt monday to check it out! Otherwise, I blog about other topics during the week..

Until next time, XO - M.

OGX Biotin & Collagen Review*

A month ago, I received the OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo and Root Boost Spray to try. ( I think I was supposed to receive a conditioner instead of two shampoos, but hey - not complaining here). Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to try out the conditioner so I will not be reviewing that product here.

I have often seen the OGX line available for purchase at most drug stores and especially at Walmart. The "Nutrient-rich ProVitamin B7 biotin + the plump-it-up power of collagen gives each strand a beautiful boost. This dynamic duo will leave your hair thicker, fuller and looking oh, so healthy." - OGXBeauty.com

The full line comes with the following:
- Shampoo
- Conditioner
- Root Boost Spray
- Oil Treatment
- Weightless Healing Oil Mist

Prior to testing out this line, I had used the OGX Coconut Water Shampoo and the Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner. I am a fan of the Coconut Water shampoo, it is very light and hydrating and it didn't weigh my hair down. It didn't have a strong artificial coconut fragrance which is definitely a positive. The Argan Oil of Morcocco Conditioner was okay, it wasn't anything spectacular so I wouldn't repurchase that. However, I would definitely repurchase the Coconut Water Shampoo.

On to the review...

While I found this to be very hydrating, it weighed my hair down a bit. The volume part of it only lasted an hour or two until it deflated and my hair got relatively oily quickly. By the end of the day, I was pretty greasy. This typically happens to me if the product I am using is too moisturizing or rich. Overall, I prefer products that have a cleansing component in which I can follow up with a volumizing spray or product. 

For example, I am actually quite eager to try the OGX Australian Tea Tree , Eucalyptus Mint or the Tea Tree Mint line. That is more of the range of products I tend to lean towards, Minty or Peppermint type products - that is what I was previously using before trying out this line.

Overall, I would not repurchase this specific product, however I would love to try any of the mint lines mentioned above and will definitely continue to use the Coconut Water Shampoo (on rotation). Have any of you tried the OGX line? What are your thoughts?

P.S. I have passed this product onto two of my friends with thicker hair than I and I am waiting to hear their thoughts. I am thinking because my hair is quite fine and thin, (like I said above) the product is too rich which can put some added weight to my hair and weigh it down.

Until next time,
XO - M.

BECCA Champagne Pop with bold lips

Over the weekend, I finally had the chance to get my hands on Champagne Pop by Becca Cosmetics that was made in collaboration with Youtube Guru and Makeup Artist, Jaclyn Hill. 

Here's a picture of the hilighter below that I bought on the same day I bought the Inglot Cream Blush (#82).

Here are some swatches, as you can see the hilighter is a beautiful golden peachy color. I was never lucky enough to get my hands on Whisper of Guilt by MAC of Heatwave by Estee Lauder, and I was told that these were very close dupes of the product so I'm really glad I got my hands on this!

Here's the look I created with Champagne Pop - it gives you a beautiful sunkissed glow. I love it!

 The products used are listed below:
1. Embryolisse mixed with 2. Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow to create a dewy, hydrated base
3. Dior Airflash Foundation
4. Dior Nude Tan Glow Enhancing Power
5. NARS - Orgasm Blush
6. MAC Painterly as a eyeshadow base.
7. Wet n Wild - Vinyl Collection - I used the upper right matte beige shadow all over the lid and the bottom right dark brown shadow on the outer V.
8. NYX Eyebrow Gel in Brunette
9. Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara
10. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop
11. Maybelline Lipstick in 875 Wild Rose

What do you guys think of Champagne Pop? Will you go get your hands on it? if yes, I suggest you move fast because it's limited edition!

Until next time XO - Miranda.

Makeup Eraser - Review and Demo!*

I've been seeing the Makeup Eraser pop up all over social media, and when I was given the opportunity to review the product, I immediately jumped on the chance to see if it really did all that it claims to do. Well, after thoroughly trying it out, I have four words to say... WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?! ... no seriously, this stuff is amazing!!

This product removes your makeup by just adding water to it. It can even remove the most stubborn waterproof mascara in seconds. It is all natural, contains no chemicals and is machine washable for convenience. Also, your makeup will not stain the towel and it is super soft, feels like a terry cloth but 100x softer, and promotes healthy skin.

Here are the instructions that come with the eraser. Before using, make sure you wash it first, it helps to make sure all the fluffies are gone, and that you are using a clean cloth on your face for hygenic reasons obviously.

This one Makeup Eraser cloth is re-useable and washable for up to 1000 times. Think of the amount of cotton pads and makeup remover solution you will be saving! I don't know about you, but I always have to use a makeup remover solution to remove my makeup first with a cotton pad, and then washing my face afterwards. I have to do this because most facial cleansers will not remove stubborn waterproof mascara, or heavier makeup effectively. This cloth, seriously no lie, takes off my mascara, liner, foundation - everything!

Here's some pics to show you:
Full face of makeup (tutorial will be coming soon for this look)

 Using the Makeup Eraser to remove my makeup after dampening it with water completely. I used the side with the shorter fibers first to remove the makeup and followed up with the side with the longer fibers to remove any leftover residue.

 As you can see, one side has longer fibers, the other has shorter. This removed everything completely, even the stuck on glue from my lashes which can be quite stubborn to remove.

 My face after using the cloth. I used a paper towel to remove the lipgloss first (just to prevent the stickiness from smudging). But look, absolutely no trace of makeup is left on my face. AMAZING!!

After washing the towel, you can see - no stains or damage. Make sure you do not use bleach when washing your towel. You can throw this in the washing machine and the dryer. If you want, you can use fabric softerner or dryer sheet, this won't damage the eraser. You can wash the towel on a weekly basis. Just damp the area you need to use on the cloth each time you remove your makeup. For demonstration reasons, I just we the whole towel to show you. 

If you would like to purchase one (I don't see why not), please contact:
Heidi Lerner 
National Sales Director
The ship internationally and it's currently $20* on the site. 

*disclosure, price subject to change so please look at the site prior to purchasing.

Overall, I really do love this product and I will be using a Makeup Eraser from now on to remove my makeup. This just saves me alot of money in the long run. Cotton Pads and Makeup Solution isn't cheap! :)

Until next time, XO - M.