ABH BROW WIZ VS. NYX MICRO BROW

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I have been enjoying filling in my eyebrows to give them more shape and dimension. I use either the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz or the NYX Micro Brow Pencil. Both are high quality products I absolutely love, so I thought I would write a quick comparison on the two.

ANASTASIA BROW WIZ- GRANITE

Naturally, this was the first product I decided to try out when diving into the world of brows. I was instantly in love with how it allowed me to easily create a defined shape as well as a fuller, natural effect. It glides on easily and has a creamy consistency. I don’t find that it is completely buildable, but if you are going for more of a natural look, or just looking to add some depth to your already full brows, it is perfect. It has a retractable fine tip with a spooly on one end. I did have some issues with the pencil breaking off quite easily, which is a bit upsetting considering it is $27. This is definitely a high-end product but I have found myself purchasing it time and time again because it really is a great product!

BROW PENCIL PIC

NYX MICRO BROW- BLACK

I have heard a lot of great things about the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, and had to try it out when I saw the price. I absolutely love it and found myself reaching for this rather than my Brow Wiz, which was quite surprising! It is highly pigmented and requires a light hand to apply. It has sort of a waxy consistency but still allows for a creamy application. It has a retractable fine tip identical to the Brow Wiz allowing for a precise application. I found that the pencil was a lot stronger than the Brow Wiz. It did not ever break during application, which really shows the quality of the product for such an inexpensive price. I do however wish the spooly was a tad bit thinner like the Brow Wiz. Of course this is a great drugstore steal for only $12!

Overall, both these products are worth trying out. They are great for defining and filling in the brows, and definitely last all day long once set with a brow gel. It’s really about what you’re budget is. Because I fill in my brows everyday, I prefer to use the NYX Micro Brow pencil to save a couple of bucks. On those days where I am going out to a special event I opt for the ABH Brow wiz. Nonetheless, both are great products!

 

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POP OF COLOUR!

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It’s finally spring! It’s still a bit chilly here in Toronto, but I found incorporating bold colours into my makeup has definitely been putting me in the spring mood. Here are 3 simple ways to add a pop of colour to your makeup, to give you that fun and flirty look!

LIPS

popofcolour_03 Wearing a bold lip has to be one of my favourite ways to take a simple look and kick it up a notch. There are a ton of vibrant colours on the market right now that certainly shout spring! I absolutely adore the Kat VonD Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ayesha. It is a beautiful, soft lavender that I have been obsessed with. If this colour is a bit out of your comfort zone, don’t worry because there are plenty more colours to choose from!

WINGED LINER

popofcolour_01I was thrilled to see a bunch of brands coming out with coloured liners. It’s such a simple way to take your everyday winged liner to another level. For the look below, I used the NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Liner in Sapphire Blue to add a pop of colour to top of my black wing. This added a playful element to an otherwise classic look. You can definitely skip the black liner and apply a coloured liner on its own. It’s such a fun and simple way to change things up. I am loving this trend!

TIP: To maximize your products, use your liquid lipstick as eyeliner. It works just the same!

LOWER LASH LINE

popofcolour_02You can either use a shadow or a pencil to achieve this look. Just line and smudge the colour on your lower lash line. You don’t have to be neat or precise, but it will look great every time. I used a teal shadow from the Morphe 35U Palette to create this look. You can even take it into the inner corner for some extra dimension; it’s completely up to you! This has to be the fastest and easiest way to pack a punch with your look this spring.

These are 3 effortless ways to add a pop of colour to your makeup. They take no time at all and can completely transform your look in a matter of minutes. Let me know if you guys try any of these techniques!

MASK REVIEW

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If you are looking to give yourself a pamper session, look no further! Every now and then I like to give my skin some extra care. There have been a ton of sheet masks on the market lately so I thought I would give it a go. Here are my thoughts on a few masks that I have tried out.

SEPHORA EYE MASKS

There are a variety of eye masks to choose from depending on what you would like to target. I picked up the Green Tea, Rose, and Lotus eye masks, which primarily focus on hydration. They are very soothing and definitely helped with the irritation and dryness I have been experiencing. They stick well to my skin with a good amount of serum left over to pat onto my skin once removed. I am quite pleased with these masks! These would be great to take while travelling, to give your under-eyes a fresh look after a long journey.

PURCHASE: $6 from Sephora

 

TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: EGG CREAM SHEET MASK

This is a hypoallergenic mask infused with egg white and egg yolk extract to help hydrate and brighten your skin. The sheet formed well to my face and stayed put, making it easy to do other things while I had it on. I left it on for about 20 min, and it felt cool and refreshing the whole time. Once I removed it I found that it left a sticky residue on my skin, which was a bit tacky to the touch. I recommend applying this as the last step before heading to bed, that way you are less likely to touch your face. I was really surprised with how my face felt the next day. It was soft and allowed for a smooth makeup application. I would definitely purchase this again!

PURCHASE: $6 from Sephora

 

BOSCIA: SAKE BRIGHTENING HYDROGEL MASK

This is a gel mask that claims to firm, tighten, and brighten the skin. During application, the mask formed well to my face but I found myself having to fix the edges, as they would start to peel off. It had a cool, refreshing, and soothing feel for the entire 20 min I left it on. Once I removed it and applied my moisturizer, it left my skin feeling really smooth. I didn’t see any sort of firming or brightening effects. In my experience, it worked as more of a hydrating mask. What I liked most about this mask was the gel texture, which gave me that luxurious spa-like experience.

PURCHASE: $10 from Sephora

 

DR.JART+: WATER REPLENISHMENT COTTON SHEET MASK

This is a hypoallergenic mask that claims to sooth and leave the skin looking hydrated. The mask formed well to my face and stayed put. It had a cool tingly sensation, which was most likely caused by the infused witch hazel. I did find that because I had a few active pimples at the time, it left my skin feeling irritated. I also found that during the 20 min I had it on, it had a tightening effect whilst still providing a hydrating effect, which I quite enjoyed. Overall, I didn’t really find anything special about this product, but it is a nice simple mask for hydrating the face.

PURCHASE: $9 from Sephora

 

I love applying masks not only to give my skin some extra attention, but because it is very relaxing. You can definitely create your own spa experience at home. So grab a mask, some delicious tea, and unwind with your favourite shows!

 

 

 

 

SKINCARE ROUTINE: OILY, SENSITIVE, ACNE-PRONE SKIN

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I have extremely oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. I have always had fairly oily skin but it wasn’t until I turned 22 that I noticed mild acne on my cheeks. It was painful and left dark scars on my skin. For someone who went from the occasional pimple to acne, it was quite upsetting. I had to revamp my skincare regime to fit this new skin type and I have finally perfected a routine that works for me. The following products have gotten my skin clear and back on track!

CLEANSE: NEUTROGENA OIL-FREE ACNE WASH PINK GRAPEFRUIT FACIAL CLEANSER

Overview: I have been using this product since high school and it has worked quite well for me. It does a great job of thoroughly cleansing my skin while still being very gentle.

Formulation: This is a non-comedogenic facial cleanser, which keeps those pores free from any sort of blockage. It has grape fruit extract, Vitamin C, and 2% Salicylic Acid; all great ingredients for fighting off acne. I find that a lot of acne products out there with Salicylic Acid can often leave your skin feeling really dry. Fortunately, I have not experienced any dryness with this cleanser. It just leaves my skin feeling nice and clean!

Application: I like to use this with my Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad. I love using this silicone pad because it gives the product a nice lather and works well to gently massage my skin. I put a pump of product onto the pad and work in circular motions around my face. I then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Purchase: $8.96 for 177 mL at Walmart

 

EXFOLIATE: ST.IVES APRICOTE SCRUB

Overview: This is another drugstore product I have been faithful to for quite some time. It is a good quality, budget friendly product that has worked well for me.

Formulation: This product contains Apricot Extract and 2% Salicylic Acid making it a great product for acne prone skin. Like most scrubs the texture is gritty, but it is gentle and definitely not abrasive. It does a great job at removing all those dead skin cells and leaving your face feeling soft as a baby’s bottom!

Application: I exfoliate my face with this scrub about once or twice a week. I make sure to never over exfoliate my skin, as that can be very damaging. I squeeze out a small amount and massage it into my wet skin using circular motions. I like to let it sit on my skin for about 30 sec or so, until I start to feel a tingling sensation. I then wash it off with lukewarm water.

Purchase: $4.57 for 150 mL at Walmart

 

TONE: THE BODY SHOP TEA TREE SKIN CLEARING TONER

Overview: This is an extra step that some like to do, and some don’t. I personally find that using a toner helps to remove that last bit of makeup or residue that my cleanser couldn’t tackle. Adding this specific toner to my regime has helped even out my skin tone, and cut down on the healing time of my scars.

Formulation: This product is formulated with Tamanu oil, White Willow Bark extracts, and Tea Tree oil- the key ingredient. Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial properties that help disinfect and heal, which is great for both active acne and scars. If you have normal to dry skin I would not recommend you use this, as it is a bit drying. This particular toner is targeted more towards oily skin.

Application: I start by shaking the bottle to activate the ingredients. I then use a cotton pad to sweep this across my face and neck. Make sure to use the tiniest amount of product because it will sting! A little is all you need to get the full benefits of this toner. I especially love applying this in the morning because it has a cool, refreshing feel that will wake you right up!

Purchase: $14.00 for 250mL at The Body Shop

 

TREAT: LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR DUO GLOBAL ACTION ACNE TREATMENT

Overview: I really have to thank this product for clearing up my skin. It is definitely on the “holy grail” list. I have recommended it to many people because it has worked so well on my skin!

Formulation: This contains 5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide which helps get rid of bacteria as well as exfoliate dead skin cells. It absorbs well into the skin and doesn’t have a drying affect. I have tried other acne treatments, which have caused a lot of peeling and redness. This product is really gentle and is great to keep that mild acne at bay.

Application: I take a pea-sized amount and apply a thin layer all over my face and neck. I like to gently pat it into my skin to make sure it absorbs well. As you apply, be careful not to get this around the eyes, as is it too harsh for such a sensitive area. I would also recommend using this every few days in the beginning, so your skin can slowly get accustomed and not overly irritated.

Purchase: $26.00 for 40 mL at Shoppers Drug Mart

 

MOISTURIZE: CETAPHIL SENSITIVE SKIN MOISTURIZING LOTION

Overview: This is a great basic moisturizer. It is a no muss, no fuss type of product that does the job right. It is inexpensive, you get a ton of product, and it works great!

Formulation: It is important to keep your skin hydrated, especially when using acne treatments. This product is very moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. It absorbs well into my skin and helps lock in moisture. It is also fragrance free and non-comedogenic, making it a well-rounded product especially for those of you with sensitive and oily skin.

Application: I take a generous amount of product, gently pat it into my face, and bring it down to onto my neck. I also apply this around my eyes as it is quite gentle, and I haven’t experienced any sort of irritation.

Purchase: $9.67 for 250mL at Walmart

 

I hope this helps those of you with a similar skin type. Remember, everyone’s skin is different so what works for me might not work for you. It’s really about experimenting to see what your skin likes, and of course patience! Give the products time to see the effects on you skin. My skin has its ups and downs, and is definitely far from being perfect, but I will continue my skin journey to get it looking the best I can.

PS. I am still on the search for a hydrating eye cream so let me know if anyone has any suggestions!

 

 

FAVOURITE CONCEALERS FOR HIGHLIGHTING

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In the last few months I have added highlighting to my every day routine. I noticed that this makes a huge difference with my makeup. It gives my face a lot of dimension, giving me a bright and awake look. I use these products under my eyes, down the center of my nose, my cupid’s bow, and the middle of my forehead. It gives my face that extra bit of light and I have really been enjoying this process! Below is a review of highlighters I have been using to achieve that glow.

MAYBELLINE FIT ME – 25 MEDIUM

This is my everyday highlighter and I have to say I am quite impressed with it. The formulation is creamy, lightweight, and does not crease. It keeps my under eyes hydrated and smooth throughout the day. It doesn’t provide heavy-duty coverage, but it does just enough to brighten up those specific areas for everyday wear. It comes with a doe foot applicator, which allows for an easy effortless application.

Purchase: $7.96 for 0.23 at Walmart

NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER – BISCUIT

I use this highlighter for days where I am going for a full face of makeup. It is creamy and has good coverage to achieve that flawless look. This also has a doe foot applicator for easy application. The great thing about this line is that they have a ton of colours for every skin tone! If you are having a hard time finding a good concealer for your skin tone, this is worth trying!

Purchase: $36 for 0.22 oz at Sephora

MAKE UP FOREVER ULTRA HD CONCEALER- Y31

This is more of a heavy-duty concealer, again for those days where I am going for a full face of makeup. It has great coverage but doesn’t feel heavy or cakey at all. This concealer comes in a tube, so to apply just dab little dots where you want to highlight. You only need the smallest amount of product, as a little goes a long way. I purchased this at Sephora for $32.

Purchase: $32 for 0.23oz at Sephora

 

APPLICATION

I use the applicators and create a triangle shape under my eyes and on my forehead, as well as a line down my nose and Cupid’s bow. I then use a damp beauty blender to blend the product into my skin. This allows for a seamless transition and also soaks up any excess product that’s not necessary. I set my highlighter using the Sephora Bright Set Pressed Finishing Powder. This will ensure the concealer stays put all day and does not crease.

Highlighting is great technique to use whether you want to do some dramatic highlighting and contouring, or to simply brighten up the face. It’s really up to you! Let me know if these products give you that glow you were looking for!

 

MAKEUP STARTER KIT

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If you are someone looking to start wearing makeup, you may find it intimidating. There are so many products and techniques out there, which can be overwhelming for someone just starting out. Here are a few products that will help you get the ball rolling! These will help you achieve a simple, everyday makeup look.

CONCEALER / FOUNDATION

I suggest starting off with a concealer if you are not used to wearing any makeup at all. This will provide coverage for those troubled areas without it being too heavy. Once you are comfortable with that, you can work your way up to a foundation. Finding a good foundation to work with your skin type is really about trial and error, so don’t fret if you don’t get it right in the first attempt!

POWDER

This will lock in your foundation and concealer. If you choose to stick with only applying concealer, this is a great lightweight option to add some extra coverage.

BLUSH / BRONZER

Now that you have a flawless base, you want to add life back into your face. Blush or bronzer will give you some colour and definition. Bronzer will help you achieve that sun-kissed glow whilst blush will give you that pretty, rosy cheek.

MASCARA

This has to be my favourite part! Adding mascara will open up your eyes and make you look awake. To enhance this process, you can start off by curling your lashes to lift them up and out. Then apply your favourite mascara. When mascara is the only product on my eyes, I apply a few coats to make sure they are as long and as full as I can get them.

There you go! A simple everyday look anyone can surely pull off. Take a trip to your local drugstore and scope out the products. There are a ton of great products you can find, especially if you are just starting out. Be warned, this post may be the first steps towards a very unhealthy obsession with makeup. It is inevitable.

COLOURPOP ULTRA MATTE LIP: REVIEW

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After seeing countless YouTube videos and Instagram posts on the ColourPop Ultramatte Lip collection, I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase them. I am always on the hunt for a classic nude/mauve lip that will work on my fellow brown skin girls, so I picked up a bunch in that colour range to try out. Here is my review on the products and some of the colours I have been loving to rock!

FORMULATION

This is a true liquid lipstick. The consistency is wet and runny, whereas some of the other ones I’ve purchased have more of a mousse texture. I find that it dries quite fast so you have to work quickly and diligently with it. I was pleasantly surprised that this is a comfortable product to wear. It is ultra matte but doesn’t feel like I’m wearing cement on my lips. It lasts me about 7-8 hours before having to reapply. I do find that it does transfer a bit and emphasize lines on your lips, but other than that I am very impressed!

APPLICATION

Like any matte lip product, make sure to exfoliate your lips beforehand. Line and fill in your lips with lip liner to give the product a base. This will help with even application and longevity. Then take your time to carefully fill in your lips with the liquid lipstick. Lastly, dab your lips together to evenly distribute them and let them dry. You will get the perfect application every time with these steps.

PRICE

These retail for $6 USD. They are affordable and the quality is comparable with high-end competitors.

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TRAP

This is a pale pink shade. I was hesitant to wear this colour at first because it is on the lighter side, but if you pair it with a lip liner you are good to go! It is a nude colour I’m happy to add to my collection.

KAPOW

I am absolutely obsessed with this colour! It’s a pale greyish purple colour that gives the nude lip a whole new meaning. If there’s one colour you want to get out of the collection, I would definitely recommend this one. It is still nude but has a unique twist.

BEEPER

This is the perfect everyday lip colour. It is close to my natural lip colour but gives it that matte flawless look.

TEENY TINY

This is a deep pink colour. It is another great every day lipstick that gives your natural lip some subtle colour.

 STINGRAYE

This is a collaboration piece with YouTube Makeup Guru ItsMyRayeRaye. She always seems to sport the perfect mauve lip so I was thrilled to hear about this partnership. This is very similar to the ever so popular Kat Von D liquid lipstick in “Lolita”. It is a great dupe for an affordable price.

I have been wearing these lipsticks non-stop! They are absolutely gorgeous. ColourPop has a good selection of colours so there is bound to be a shade to work perfectly with every skin tone out there. Overall, these are high quality and affordable products I definitely recommend!