Creating your perfect canvas with Cover FX*

Achieving a perfect canvas is always something I have searched for. I love the flawless look, but hate the appearance of what may seem to be 20 pounds of make-up on my face and looking cakey and very obviously like I put a ton of foundation on. Also, nothing feels worse than feeling like you have the weight of a heavy foundation on.  I recently had the pleasure of learning all about Cover Fx and I just had to share with my readers on how I go about creating my perfect canvas. It works well for photography as well as for events and I haven't stopped using these products since I got them. 

Below is a before picture, there is nothing on my face except for skincare - toner, serum and moisturizer.

I then primed my face and took additional moisturizer (gel based for spring) and mixed in 3 drops of Custom Cover Drops in G30 and buffed that all over my face and applied the Cream Concealer in G-Light. 

Next, to add some dimension to the face, I used the Contour Kit in G-Light Medium. 

If you look at the insert card on the contour kit, it provides detail step by step instructions on how to use the kit and where to apply the product -  I just simply replicated the cards and then blended it out. To get rid of any harsh lines, I took a dense buffing brush and tapped it once into the Total Cover Cream Foundation in G-30 with a brush to get rid of any harsh lines left behind from the contour kit. 

I love the Total Cover Cream Foundation - you only need the smallest amount and once buffed into the skin, it turns into powder. I use this also in lip swatch posts, and it works wonders! It buff a bit over my lips and it completely neutralizes it and covers any staining so that I am ready for the next swatch. 

Next, I apply the Perfect Setting Powder in Light/Medium Natural Finish under the eyes and on the T-zone to set everything and prevent creasing or shininess. 

To add more of a bronzed look, I apply the Perfect Setting Powder in Medium/Deep around the outer perimeters of the face. These products are quite multi-functional and I love it - it's so finely milled and pigmented and really does the job. 

Lastly, to secure all the hard work I've done, I set it with the Illuminating Setting Spray. This spray contains very fine mica that gives you an ethereal look and in photos, you look even more radiant and airbrushed. I really want to try the Mattifying Primer though, I used it on the back of my hand and it was beautiful - it was matte, it just works.

As you can see from the photos below, the combined products really do offer a flawless canvas and looks fantastic in photos. It also just makes your skin look so perfect and almost airbrushed. I can guarantee that I did not do any type of photoshopping below - just adjusted the contrast a bit. This also works well for my oily combo skin and does not melt off or transfer with time.

Until next time, XO - M.

Mark Havana Sol Collection, Review and Tutorial*

You can always count on Mark to create some beautiful products - their packaging is always vibrant, chic and captivating. This summer, they launched their Havana Sol collection, and as you can see from the packaging, it's to die for. It's so bright, so colorful and just screams summer vacation on a tropical island. 

The products I received for review include the following:

The Body Wash is a gel formula where initially you really get the scent of the fruity papaya, but then it balances out with some floral tone, the orchid, and finally the warm tone of velvet woods rounds up the scent.  The Body Butter smells exactly the same as the body wash so when paired with the body wash it really prolongs the fragrance. The body butter contains aloe, shea, coconut oil and cocoa butter. and works to keep your skin hydrated, smooth.


With the make-up items I received, I created the look below with it. I really took advantage of the blue tones on the bottom row of the shadow palette to create a gradient pop of color for the summer. The shadows that stood out are the matte formula, that are buttery smooth and ultra pigmented and blendable. At $18 for the palette, I really think it is a good buy. Typically for $18 you can only buy one or two shadows. My favorite though is the Blush Bronzer Palette, you get 4 shades total as you can see from the swatches - a beautiful pink, coral, bronzer plus when all three are blended together you get a pinkish hue.


Overall, I would highly suggest that you purchase these products! If I had to pick one out of the lot, it'd be the blush bronzer palette. 

Until next time, XO - M. 

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

L'oreal Paris Hair Expertise: Ever Haircare - Deep Nourishing and Balancing Collection Review*

Ever by L'Oreal Paris is the leading sulfate-free haircare system, providing gentle yet indulgent formulas specifically designed to protect the integrity of hair since 2009. Now in 2017, the Ever franchise has been updated with better packaging, brand new formulations and even better fragrances. These products continue to be 100% sulfate-free, dye free, paraben free, vegan and is gentle on colored hair. 

It contains a unique combination of botanical ingredients and are water based containing Aloe Water, and Hyaluronic Acid to provide the best form of hydration to the skin. It is said to provide 72 hours of intense hydration and I believe it... I mean, honestly if I love hyaluronic acid for skincare, then why not for haircare!

For the Color-Treated hair, they have the following collections: Moisture, Volume, Frizz-Defy, Blonde, Repair and Defend. 

For the Specialty Care line, the following collections exist: Deep Nourish, Hydracharge, Keratin Caring, Thickening and Balancing.

I was sent the Deep Nourish and Balancing Shampoo Collection - the Shampoos and Conditioners are $10.99 each, and the Treatments (pictured above) are $15.99. 

The Deep Nourish Collection as the name suggests, is for deep nourishing and hydration - it is meant to repair damaged hair and offers deep TLC for your hair. It contains Apricot Oil and has a very warm fragrance. This product was too heavy for my thin hair, and I became greasy faster than desired so I passed this off to a friend to try. 

Now, onto the brand New collection that I love the scent of! This is the Balancing Collection which contains Indian Lilac. I don't know what that is, but it smells divine... it's almost like herbal like, with a bit of floral scent. Love it! This is the first balancing haircare system - it is sulfate-free and gently cleanses and refreshes the scalp to replenish hair with essential moisture. The scalp is balanced, restored and your hair becomes soft , shiny and manageable. . 

It comes in a Shampoo + Conditioner as well as a Micro-Exfolating Scrub for the scalp. It contains really granular exfoliating particles that help to remove impurities of the scalp and helps break up any build-up. 

I really enjoyed this collection, the shampoo and conditioner really helped to add moisture to my hair, without weighing any of it down and helped keep my hair soft and smooth without any frizziness or tangles. The exfoliating scrub to me seemed gimmicky at first, but put a dollop of this on your hand, and rub it into your scalp and just let it work its magic. You feel the granules/apricot seeds rub over your scalp cleansing it. Just be careful to really wash it throughly so that the scrubby bits get outta your hair. But afterwards, my scalp felt cleaner and more weightless - like all of that gunky built up dry shampoo on the scalp was gone. 

Until next time, XO - M.

Mary Kay Summertime Jewel and Limited-Edition Beauty That Counts Baked Cheek Powder Look and Review*

I had received the following items from the 2017 Summer Summertime Jewel Collection products from Mary Kay to review and demo recently and if you're interested in reading my thoughts on these items, plus the Beauty That Counts Baked Cheek Powder, then keep on reading below.

The products received include:
- Eye-shadow/cheek palette which features mineral eye colors in Sweet Cream, Hazelnut and Emerald and Cheek Color in Sunny Spice.
- Black Eyeliner
- Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick in Mauve Moment.

2) 2017 Limited Edition Beauty That Counts Baked Cheek Powder ($23 each) in Kind Heart (coral shimmer) and Giving Heart (pink shimmer).

With each purchase of Baked Cheek Powder, Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd. makes a donation ($2 from each sale of the  LE Baked cheek Powders) to Beauty That Counts®, a program that helps to change the lives of women and children. Your purchase benefits The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation in its efforts to assist women living with cancer through the Look Good Feel Better® program and to help end violence against women by providing grants to women’s shelters and community outreach programs.


On the eyes: From the palette, I applied Sweet Cream from my lid to brow bone. Used Hazelnut on the crease and outer V and applied Emerald on the inner half of the lid. I finished the look by applying the eyeliner on the upper waterline and smudging it out a bit. The matte shadows (Sweet Cream and Hazelnut) are great, very buttery and pigmented, not patchy at all. However, Emerald required lots of packing on for the color to show up. I think in the photos, it was about 3 layers.

The Cheeks: I applied Sunny Spice from the palette and Kind Heart on the cheeks. Love the blushes!

The lips: I applied Mauve Moment from the set on my lips. I love the formula and packaging of the lipsticks from Mary Kay. It is buttery smooth, pigmented and a gel-like formula that feels hydrating.


Until next time, XO - M.

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

February to April 2017 Empties and Review*

One of my favorite things to do is to read about empties posts and watch empties videos. The reason is, I can spend all the time doing tutorials or writing reviews, but those products are either first impressions, or products I recently received and haven't spent a long enough time using yet. With empties however, you know for a fact that you've spent a very long time using these products and that you've had more than a fair shot to determine whether or not you like them or would repurchase them again and recommend to your friends, families or readers. 

As usual, I have separated them into different categories so that it'd be easier for you to follow :)  So if you're interested in reading about my last few months' worth of empties, then keep on reading below...

Stila Matte 'N Metal Palette Make-up Tutorial*

Stila is one of those brands that continuously releases products that are great, reliable, on trend while being practical and beautiful. I have used their black liquid liner since I was a teen and nothing I've ever tried from Stila has been disappointing. They are so innovative in their releases - I remember the gel cushion blush was launched before anyone else did, and now their magnificent metals shadow has everyone buzzing about it on YouTube and the beauty world. 

My tutorial this time features mostly Stila Products (the products that aren't Stila is because I don't own anything currently in those categories from them) - the main thing I wanted to feature in this tutorial is the new Matte N' Metal Palette as well as the Ulta exclusive Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow shadow in Ballet Baby.  

The palette mentioned above is listed below with all the names of the shadows listed directly on the palette for your convenience. This palette is perfect for neutral lovers - it has 6 matte shadows, 6 shimmers in brown and rose tones. They are buttery, pigmented and blend easily. The packaging is sleek and contains a full-sized mirror so its great for on the go/travelling as well. 

Below is the same look paired with two different lipsticks - the bolder color is Aria, in the Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick formula and the neutral mauve pink is the Stay All Day Matte-nificient Lipstick in Brulee. 



I decided to try something new this time and list my tutorial directly step by step in the picture below so it's easier to just see visually vs. reading a long paragraph.


The bronzer is a true bronzer that does not run too warm or cold. It's beautiful and buttery and comes in a giant pan that will sure last you a long time. The poreless putty is a foundation that I take travelling with me, I can bring it on my carry-on as it's not a liquid and offers a sheer to medium coverage. 


The liquid lipstick is really pigmented, the look below features it in one swipe that is not patchy. The matte-nificient lipstick is a true matte that does not feel dry on the lips and glides on. It doesn't stick to any dead skin or shows off fine lines. Lastly, the color balm in Opal is unique - it offers a pearl like sheen that shifts to a slight purple blue iridescent. If you use this on its own it will show off a bit pearl white, however layered on top of a lipstick it adds some volume to the lips. This also has a slight peppermint sensation and scent to it which is refreshing. The peppermint leaves a little tingly to the lip to give it some extra pout in the middle. 

I would highly suggest that you try out these products from Stila, it's so hard for me to narrow it down and say which one specifically, but for sure the Matte N' Metal shadow palette, the poreless putty if you're one on the go and enjoys convenience and the matte-nificient lipstick!

Until next time, XO - M.

*some products listed above were sent for my review, all opinions are my own.

Becca Chrissy Teigen vs. Jaclyn Hill Palette Review

Becca Cosmetics has been on a roll lately with lots of new product launches, from their lavender iridescent highlighter and bronzers to now a new face palette in collaboration with Chrissy Teigen. To be honest, I was very surprised at this collaboration, it was quite unexpected, but based on the fact that it was being launched by Becca, plus the package was just too beautiful to pass up. The rose gold packaging and marble theme is gorgeous, but how did the product hold up? 

Keep on reading below to read all about my thoughts as I will be comparing it with the Becca x Jaclyn Hill collaboration (link to my past review on that post) as well since most of you will be curious about how they compare to each other in terms of color pay-off and delivery.

In the pictures directly above and below, you will see on the left, the Becca x Chrissy Teigen Palette and on the right, the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Palette.

Here's the break down: 
The Similarities
The casing on both palettes are the same material - including the cover, which is that almost firm gel-like plastic texture that will indent if something sits on it too long. They both contain full size mirrors inside that are super high quality and good to use as you can see your entire face in it for make-up application - they actually serve a purpose. Both the palettes are buttery soft and finely milled. The highlighter feels almost wet to the touch and just blends effortlessly. The pigments deliver a punch with one swipe so be careful when you apply it. The beauty of this product is that you do not even need to wet the brush to give yourself an intense highlight. Just run the brush back and forth and apply

The Differences
The Chrissy Teigen Palette features two highlighters, one blush and one bronzer. It is a true bronzer - not too warm, not too cold. The Jaclyn palette bronzer/blush is a bit more warm toned so most people would use that as a blush. Chrissy's palette's highlighters all run on the pinker/rose gold tones. The blush is also more matte satin.

The Jaclyn Hill Palette contains two blushes, one bronzer/blush, and two highlighters. This is thicker than Chrissy's palette and of course bigger. One blush is a a satin and one is a shimmer tone. The highlighters run more champagne and gold than Chrissy's.

See below for swatches....


As you can see, while the satin blushes are quite similar - Jaclyn's Pamplemousse and Chrissy's Hibiscus Bloom, Jaclyn's  bronzer/blush runs a tad more warm/red toned than Chrissy's true bronzer. The highlighters are also significantly different as well. 

I did a side by side comparison below of the two palettes. Chrissy's in white font and Jaclyn's in black font. 

To wrap it up, would I suggest that you buy Chrissy's palette?
To be honest, even if you're not a big Chrissy Teigen fan but you're a highlighter or Becca fan, I'd say get it. There is no current highlighter offered by Becca that runs close to that offered in Chrissy's collab palette. This packaging is too pretty and if you're a make-up lover then you need it!

Until next time, XO - M.

Burt's Bees - 2017 New Shades & Flavors Review and Swatches*

Burt's Bees is a brand that I am quite familiar with - I have been using their lip balm since I was in high school and it only came in one flavor/scent back then and it was a clear balm. It has been many years since my high school days (let's not say how many now to avoid embarrassment) and  Burt's Bees has come a long way. They now have skincare, body care and a larger range of cosmetics.

I was graciously sent this PR package from Burt's Bees which features their 2017 additions - it contains 16 New Shades and 3 New Flavors of Lip Balms. I was sent Flavor Crystal Lip Balms that provide hydration and concentrated fruit juice crystals, Lipsticks that offer a luscious, full-coverage color, Gloss Crayons in lush colors that glides on effortlessly and Tinted Lip Oils that offer a sheer wash of color packed full of moisture. 

To make the best review possible, I decided to do a swatch post for you guys both on the hand and also on my lips - that way you can see the texture of it, and whether it is true to color.

First off, we have the Natural Lipsticks - these contain Moringa and Raspberry Seed Oil as well as beeswax. It provides 8 hours of moisturization and the packaging is made up of 60% post-consumer recylced plastic and is 100% natural. These are so smooth and the swatch pictures below are just made with one swipe - it has a very light juicy scent and doesn't settle in fine lines. My favorite color is Doused Rose a pretty baby pink, perfect for spring!


The product below, the Gloss Lip Crayon is my FAVORITE out of all the lip products sent. They are so creamy, so moisturizing and just so beautiful. It's an effortless product that doesn't require much thought behind it. One swipe deposits clear even color that isn't patchy. My favorite color is Pacific Coast, a beautiful blue-toned red that packs on the drama but is suitable for everyday as well. Bordeaux Vines is the darkest of the crayons sent, and I find that it is extra emollient - it seems to bleed a bit more and I needed to make sure to check the mirror quite often to make sure I didn't accidentally look like a clown. 


The Tinted Lip Oils are perfect for those who want a sheer wash of color - by sheer, I really do mean sheer. These only offer a very light deposit of color, your natural lip color will peek through the oil - that's why I would recommend these to people who are looking more for the benefits of the product or the gloss, it can also act as a layering product. I naturally gravitate to pink tones so Whispering Orchid is the one that gave me the right amount of pink. 


 Lastly, there are two Lip Balms in Red Raspberry and Sweet Orange - these are your standard lip balms that are clear, but moisturizing and smells like what they are called. I currently have Sweet Orange in my purse :) the Citrus zing is very refreshing! And I like to apply this under liquid lipsticks :)

What are some of your favorite colors and formulas listed above? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Spring 2017 Sephora VIB Rouge Sale Haul

Twice a year, Sephora has a special sale for its VIB and VIB Rouge customers. In the spring the percentage is usually VIB - 10% and VIB Rouge 15% off. Around November, the sale is usually VIB - 15% and 20% for VIB Rouge members (don't quote me on that though as that number can change anytime). As mentioned in my previous posts, (the one from 2015 and 2014), I save up my money and buy things that I need to get a back-up for (things I love) and things I'm really interested in trying. Being a beauty blogger, though I do get sent alot of the product I review on this site, I still have items that I want to try 1) before other reviews surface or 2) that I am genuinely interested in or lastly 3) if it's limited edition. 

If you're interested in seeing what I got, then keep on reading below...

Bronzed Shadow Look ft. Drugstore Makeup*

I have been creating tutorials on the blog here for a while now, but I realized that I have rarely done an all drugstore tutorial. As such, I am going to do a neutral bronzed eye look that's great for everyday and for those of you who naturally gravitate to the brown neutral tones (like me). It's perfect for the office as well, to be honest this is what I typically wear everyday to work. So if you're interested at the products used to create this look, and what I think about them just keep on reading below.


Clarins Spring 2017 Make-Up Collection - Review, Swatch and Tutorial*

I am a bit late to the review of this collection, but honestly it's better late than never. I really enjoyed the products and I thought that I had to do it justice and do the review. The look below is what I have created with the products, a smokey eye palette and a contoured face. 

The products sent to me include:
1. Face Contouring Palette - $49 Limited Edition
2. 4-Colour All-In-One Pen - $44 Limited Edition
3. Ombre Iridescente - Flash of Light - $26 each in 08 Silver White and 09 Silver Rose

If you're interested in achieving this look, then keep on reading below...

The Face Palette as an overall concept and product is good - the brush is actually very practical and usable, the powder is very finely milled and buttery, very pigmented. The highlight and blush shade worked perfectly, however the bronzer shade was a bit too orange. If you are pale or light skin toned, this may make you look a bit orange or oompa-loompa-esque if you do not use a light hand. I applied it with a duo-fibre bronzer brush and it worked very well for me. The packaging is really sleek and compact and very elegant. 


 The Shadow Palette as you can see contains shades of silver, grey and black. It can be used either wet or dry. Dry will make it even more pigmented, however if you can see the swatches below, it is already VERY pigmented and buttery smooth in one finger swipe. I used the shadows all dry to create my look and there was no fall-out. 


 These little pots, Ombre Iridescente, below are almost like cream shadows. It feels creamy when you swatch them, however it dries to a powder finish to lightly spread across the lid to give it a pretty glistening sheen and sparkle. It lasts all day on my primed lid and doesn't crease. 


 To achieve this look I went about my regular routine - foundation, brows, concealer, lashes and a nude lipstick. For the rest I used the 4-colour eyeshadow palette on my eye, I patted the black all over the lid and used the dark grey to blend out the harsh lines, and then the lighter grey/silver to blend that out. I applied the near white/pearl shadow shade on my inner corners to make them pop. To make the inner eye pop even more, I applied the Ombre Iridescent in Pearly White on top of that. 

For the face, I used the Face Contouring Palette - the highlighting powder under the eyes and T-zones, the shading powder as contour on the outer perimeters of the face and contour the cheekbones/give it a slight bronzed look. Lastly, I applied the blush to the cheeks to complete the look. 

For the lips, I applied Ombre Iridescente in silver roes to the center of the lips to add more dimension to them and make the center look fuller. 


You can still get these products at the Bay so I do highly suggest that you go get them now! If I had to recommend one product, it would be the shadows - either the palette or the single pots (depending what you're comfortable with). 

Until next time, XO - M.

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