March 2017 - Pretty In Bronze

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit Swatches
March 21, 20170 Comments
Hello! I should've posted this a few weeks ago when I received it considering there weren't too many swatch posts at the time, but oh well. I got this glow kit during an early release on the  Sephora App! This is the first glow kit I've ever purchased from ABH and boy am I happy with it. I was concerned at first because a lot of reviewers say that the glow kits are very inconsistent (like the ultimate glow kit not being as good as the original or moon child), but I was very relieved when I swatched these and tried them on my face.

As you can see, this palette is not meant for porcelain skin. I've seen a lot of complaints about this being too dark for fair skin and not dark enough for deep complexions. I'll never understand these complaints on collaborations such as this because it's supposed to work for Nicole's skin tone! That's the entire reason that I bought this. If I were to create products with a brand I wouldn't be worrying about what skin tones to focus on... I'd focus on what suits mine. Right now I'm at my lightest and most of these work great! I know for sure that when I'm at my regular summer shade (my Brazilian skin tans easily) ALL of these will work, with Forever lit being a bit too light on its own. I'm thrilled that Nicole chose these colours as they suit her skin tone and many other people who often have to pick something a bit too light or a bit too dark (or mix the two).

These are swatches on the under side of my arm! The top of my arm is actually darker and matches my face better, so these swatches don't look quite as dark on there. As you can see, a lot of these shades are very similar with different undertones. I'm completely fine with this as I don't need more than three different results from a highlighting palette. All I need in terms of highlighting is an out there palette (Like the KVD Alchemist palette or the Moonchild palette (but that one isn't available on Sephora so I doubt that'll ever happen)).  I do find some a bit too similar, so I can understand the complaints. Here's a different angle and a quick video shot with flash.

Here are a few pictures of some of the shades on my face! I wasn't wearing any foundation (just concealer directly under my eyes) so they don't look nearly as intense as they usually do on top of a base. I'm also still a newbie and used my phone without my umbrella lights so that also makes it not look as amazing, but I swear they're awesome! I applied a tiny amount to my eyes for the last two photos as well (no eyeshadow today—just mascara). The only shade that I wasn't wearing was Kitty Kat, but it's really beautiful! I just ran out of space on my face. My dog on the other hand... you'll see.
Glo Getter on the cheekbone
Forever Lit down my nose
Forever Young on the cheekbone and 143 on the lid
The crappiest photo of them all!  Day Dream on the lid.

The formula is beautiful! All of these swatch very easily and are pigmented. I swatched all of these like I would in a Sephora (and I'm not that rude customer that greedily digs into it because it's free) and did one long swipe of each on my arm. I didn't go over any of the shades, which is why some might look less pigmented than others. The last three are the most intense in my opinion along with Kitty Kat. Forever Lit is very light and is probably the least pigmented, but that's ok because I use it most for the inner corners of my eyes, on the tip of my nose, eyebrow highlight, and mixed with the lighter shades if I really want to look metallic.

Here's one final picture! My pictures really don't do this palette justice. For whatever reason (probably the shine) my camera didn't want to focus properly.

Do I recommend this palette? Absolutely, IF you aren't very pale or very deep. If you have a light medium to dark medium skin tone this will work very well! I know I'll be using these for eyeshadows (especially 143 because gold is my favourite), but I don't think they promote this use for them. Regardless, I think this is beautiful and highly recommend :) The packaging is also very nice. There isn't a mirror, but I don't expect a mirror in every single makeup product—especially products like these where you're probably not going to bring this on its own with you for touchups.

This palette retails for $52.00 CAD at Sephora (including online) and I am unsure of how long it'll be around. I'm not going to buy a backup because I don't think I'll ever go through all of the shades. Go swatch it if you have the chance though! Unless you're light as paper, you might be surprised at how many of these might work on your skin. I know I've seen several bloggers with lighter skin than myself wearing some of the lighter shades and it works well!

I lied. Here's a picture of my dog's paw with Kitty Kat on it when he stepped on my fan brush.

Bye for now!

*I bought this with my own money (Well, with a gift card that I got from Steven's dad at Christmas 😉)

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Ordinary Skincare by Deciem
March 05, 2017 18 Comments

As you know, one of my beauty resolutions for the year is to really pay attention to and take care of my skin care. I really only started a legitimate skincare regime in October of 2016 and I have noticed huge improvements since then. Good skin care that targets specific concerns is hard to come across in an affordable price range. You know that I love my MyChelle and IQ Natural products that I was sent back in October, and some of them I will definitely repurchase when I run out, but others are just too expensive and I wanted to see if there's something else out there.

Right as my skin cream (Supreme Polypeptide Cream) started to run out, I saw someone post in a beauty Facebook group about The Ordinary. There were tons of comments raving about this brand and how affordable it is so I had to check it out. I was expecting an American company that ships to Canada for about $15 (USD) with a skin cream at about $30+ (as most brands end up being like this), but I was so wrong! These products are made in Toronto! Everything on the website is in Canadian dollars and the shipping is free with a purchase of over $25.  I was completely shocked again when I started to add products to my basket that suit my skin concerns. A moisturizer is about $6 Canadian. What? I bought four different products for $30 INCLUDING TAX. This is unheard of here in Canada.

The Ordinary's slogan is: Clinical Formulations with Integrity. 

Want to know something else that was great? The website had a disclaimer saying that product orders would be taking longer than usual due to ridiculously high number of orders. I was ok with that, thinking that I could stretch out my moisturizer until at least Valentines day, but my order arrived in one week! ONE. WEEK. I'm officially jumping for joy!  I'm going to share with you what I ordered. I have tried all but one product so far, but I will do more testing before I have a solid opinion. Let's jump in! 

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5:

Over 50% of this acid that is in your body is in your skin. It is an active skin care ingredient that plumps up the appearance of dull or aging skin, mine being dull, because it helps retain moisture. Vitamin B5 helps enhance surface hydration too! I've used this several times in the morning, but mainly at night time. This absorbs really fast so you need to be quick while applying it, or at least apply a bit to one section at a time. This has definitely helped my skin look more lively! The only reason I wear foundation anymore is because I want to even out the skin tone, and it just looks better when doing a full face of makeup, but on a no-makeup day my skin looks so much better!

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: 

This is naturally produced by yeast that lives on normal skin. It brightens the skin while improving texture and reducing the look of blemishes. It even acts as an antioxidant! This formula offers a very high 10% concentration of high-purity Azelaic Acid in a lightweight cream-gel system. - Deciem site and other sources. I've used this several times in the morning and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've seen fellow bloggers raving about this (and no, they aren't sponsored and didn't get it for free) so I might need to go over more reviews before I fully understand it. I don't really think my skin looks brighter. I also didn't have much texture (if at all) to start off with so I can't vouch for that claim either. But I will tell you that the acne scars that I have definitely look a bit lighter, which is major for me because I've always struggled with covering them up. I'll definitely keep using this because it's not harming me and the scars have faded quite a bit so far! The ingredients are good for your skin and these products are ridiculously affordable so why not? It's kind of like eating a healthy diet. You may not tell a huge difference on the outside, but your body will definitely be thanking you on the inside.

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA:

These natural moisturizing factors (NMF) keep the top layer of your skin protected and hydrated. "This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids." - Deciem. I use this in the morning on days that I'll be wearing foundation and I really like it!

Retinol 1%:

I haven't even opened this one yet. The reason is because my current retinol serum from MyChelle has not run out, so I refuse to open this one. On the packaging it says to not mix this with other retinoids. This is totally safe to use with the other products in this article. I'm excited to try this out and will likely do an updated blog post review for all of these because it's so darn affordable!

All of these products are 30ml (so 1 fluid ounce each!) All of these are also Vegan and Cruelty free, which is another huge plus! Each product is linked and you will find more information about ingredients and how to use them on their site.

Thank you so much for reading! I highly recommend trying out The Ordinary by Deciem if you're looking for skin care. I bought all of these with my own money and the company did not ask me to review their products. I don't think they know who I am anyway!

Bye for now!

*All of these products were purchased with my own money. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Essence Spring/Summer Collection - #EssenceRocknDoll
March 01, 2017 2 Comments
Hello everyone! This is a very exciting post for me because it deals with my favourite drug store brand of all time—Essence Cosmetics! Thanks to the Canadian Beauty Blogger's Network, I got an invite to the Spring/Summer preview (most of the collection is already available on the website and I believe you can already find some in stores) and I also got a huge goodie bag filled with almost everything!

I was overly excited and nervous because I haven't actually met anyone in person! I joined the network the same week that I went to the Makeup Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick launch, so I didn't introduce myself to anyone because I honestly had no clue what anyone looked like. This time there were no plus one's so I forced myself to introduce myself to a few people. I met Steph (@voxielle on instagram), who is super awesome and introduced me to a bunch of the girls in the network.  I am a huge fail at life though and totally called someone by the wrong name (and completely realized it right after it came out so I just awkwardly stood there for a few seconds and didn't say anything else).

Yup, that's a candy bar. This was so amazing! I've never had a macaron before and omg were these chrome macarons amazing! The blue balls (hehe) are actually gum, which was awesome because I love bubble gum. And no, you're not seeing things. Those are actually pop rocks. I haven't had pop rocks in nearly 10 years and now I want more!

There were also free manicures for everyone who was invited! If you know anything about me it's that I have awful nails. I'm a horrible biter and stupidly attempted to put on nail polish the night before the event, and then plaster walls on the same day. Needless to say that was a huge fail, but I was saved by a lovely lady whose name I forgot (I suck) who did my nails and actually made them look nice! She works at Tips Nail Bar in Toronto (848 Danforth Avenue) and I'll most definitely be visiting if I can kick this habit once I graduate (or possibly now since it's been two weeks without a bite). Maybe I'll get them done for my graduation.

That's Steph in the corner (she's actually really awesome!) This wall is where everyone was getting their photos taken with funny props. Hopefully I'll get the pictures soon so I can add them into this post. I'll definitely share on social media!

Now onto the goodie bag! I got SO MUCH STUFF. I'm actually still speechless because I love this brand so much and the products are such high quality for the price! They're just great quality in general! 

So there are a lot of products in this collection, and I can 100% tell you that you should check it out! I swatched every single product and will be showing you them all. I'm considering using a bunch of these in a first impressions video that I want to film with all of my new makeup that I've received in the past few months. I also want to do a lip swatch video of the entire line, but I'm missing one lipstick that I'm going to try to get my hands on.

Here's an overview shot of everything that I received in the goodie bag. Ignore the crinkled paper in the corner. I'm still such a newbie at taking product shots, but I'm pretty happy with a majority of the ones that I'll be showing you next!

These are the Essence the Gel Nail Polish. These are extremely high quality and they're insanely affordable. My nails have not chipped at all (and I've been painting and plastering walls). These are the the four new shades in this collection and I love them! The colour that I got done is not part of this collection, but that green and medium pink are calling to me. These retail for $2.99 on the website, so very very affordable (and they're better quality than most nail polishes I've tried).

I *almost* got every single one of the matt matte matte Lipsticks. I technically did get all 8 of them, but I received two #2's and no #3. I'm currently trying to get my hands on it because these aren't at my local Shoppers (but I currently live within a half an hour walking distance from Alpaca's so that probably explains it). I also got one of the new longlasting lipsticks (there are four new colours, making a total of 15) and two of the longlasting lipliners, one of which was included in the goodie bag, and the other was gifted to me by the awesome makeup artist that was at the event, Kate(@makeupbykate... check out her Instagram! She's amazing and I really hope I'll get to see her again!)

I'm going to be posting a few arm swatches below. Don't judge me too much! I attempted using tape to make the lines straight, but failed miserably, but didn't want to photoshop. So here's my attempt!

The the matt matte matte lipsticks (minus #3)

The longlasting lipstick in #28 Time for a toffee break

Here are the lip liners in #10 berry on my mind #11 be  game-changer and . #10 berry on my mind is perfect with the Matte Matte Matte lipstick in #7

Here are most of the brow products. I think I may have received two of the same Make Me Brow Jumbo Eyebrow Pencil, but they look different. I'll have to double check this in Shoppers and see if I need to get a different shade since I do really want to try these out. I would need a darker colour, but if one isn't available, I'll try to get these to work. This eyebrow gel colour and shape is very exciting to me! I have yet to test it out, but I'm hoping it'll be a dupe for my current ABH Dip Brow Pomade in "Medium Brown." Fingers crossed! It's only $4.99 CAD so it's already worth it in my eyes. I haven't seen this on the website yet, so keep your eyes peeled!

This palette is super exciting! This is separated into a few eyeshadows, a highlighter, and a bronzer, but you can honestly use all of these as eyeshadows as well. The only thing that I don't like about this palette is the brush that comes included, but it's not as bad as most little brushes included in drugstore palettes. This might actually come in handy if I have to pack really light. Here's a swatch:

These are the eyeshadows and highlighter swatched. I'm not the type of person who rubs my finger in powders to get as much pigment out as possible. I swatched these just like I would swatch anything at Sephora to test out the pigment and boy are these good! You can't really see the Cinnamon shade, but trust me when I say that it's there and I like it. My skin isn't the palest so it kind of blends in with it, but I can see this being very pretty all over the crease and as a transition shade!

These are the three bronzer shades swatched. These are so soft and beautiful that I'll be using them as eyeshadow as well. I also swirled my finger around to mix these three and it kind of looked like the centre shade. Below is a swatch with my finger (left) and with the little brush (right... but you can't really see it).

I'm very excited to use this soon! This is one of the products that I'll most likely use in a GRWM with new makeup video.

Next up is this awesome eyebrow and eyeshadow palette! This really impressed me and I'm sure it will impress you too.

This palette comes with a highlight, two (or three possibly?) eyeshadow shades, and two (or three) eyebrow shades as well as an eyebrow wax to set them in place. The palette also comes with a mini eyebrow brush, but it's very hard to get it out unfortunately. I can't complain because this is under 10 bucks Canadian so we can't expect high end packaging so I will for sure look past that (but I'll likely have to stick something underneath to make it come out easier).

The brush itself is amazing though! I don't know if Essence has this brush at any Shoppers, but I didn't see it online. I really hope they bring out a full sized version because this is really freaking good and would replace my ABH eyebrow brush in a second! They're basically the same, but this would be SO much more affordable so it would not be a difficult choice at all.

Here are all of the shades swatched on my hand. Once again, the eyeshadows are amazing. The three swatches on the left include finger swatches as well as the brow brush swatches, which is why I'm so impressed. That dark brown shade is going to work SO nicely in my brows, with that medium brown help transition them in the front. That middle shade is either a brow powder or eyeshadow (not sure), but I'd be using it in my crease because it would be way too light for my eyebrows. The formula of these are really nice, just like the last palette. I'm also very excited to play around with these!

I have been lusting over these since before the event and I squealed when I went through the goodie bag and saw them. These are so beautiful! You won't even believe the swatches that I'm about to show you.

These highlighters are so smooth! They're not in your face, but I want that because let's be honest; On an everyday basis I'm not going to want my highlighter blinding everyone around me. I go for very natural looks when I'm at school or running errands (if I'm even wearing any makeup) so this is perfect for me. I have worn these once and they're super pretty! You can definitely still tell that I have highlighter on and it's not hard to see, but it's not over the top either!

This contouring palette shocked me. For once there's a contouring powder that isn't too warm or too grey for my face! Though it is very pigmented with a brush so less is more with this one. And that blush... how? That is ridiculously pigmented for a drugstore blush! I put on way too much when using it on my face for the first time so just tap your brush in and tap off whatever excess there is... trust me. The highlighting shade is not shimmery, but my guess is that it's just supposed to help brighten up the undereye area (the underside of these palettes have little instructions of where the powders are to be placed). I'm thinking that I'm really going to enjoy these and probably end up with more shades as they come out!

This colour correcting powder is very soft and does not come off as powdery, but I haven't actually tried it yet so I can't tell you if it works or not. I'll probably also be trying this on in a GRWM to test it out. These blushes, however, are freaking amazing! I feel like I've been saying that about a lot of these products, but like I said; Essence is my favourite drugstore brand.

LOOK AT THESE SWATCHES! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why would I ever feel the need to buy an expensive high-end blush when these exist?! The one Essence blush that I've been using for years (and love) is in my Project Pan, but it never swatched like this. So Essence... whatever you've done with the formula... thank you! And please don't change it! I actually have the colour corrector swatched as well, but it's pretty much invisible so let's hope that'll work on my face!

This is the "All I Need Concealer Palette." I'm very excited about this because colour correcting was huge in all of 2016 and I never ended up buying a palette, mainly because the ones that were raved about were like $50 CAD. I have tried one colour corrector before, and it was from Essence, but it didn't work for me. It was their green crayon and it just moved around or blended away. This is an actual cream palette so I have higher hopes! I'll also try this out in a first impressions video so please cross your fingers that this will work!

I'm also very excited about these because Kate (the awesome makeup artist) was telling me about how she loves the MAC paint pots, but they dry out too quickly and these are a good dupe. I actually got a paint pot sample two years ago and it dried out in a few weeks. I really wanted to buy one, but I can't justify paying such a high price for something that I probably won't use everyday, just to have it dry out. These are very affordable so I'm so happy to try them out! I'm especially excited for the yellow shade because it will suit my undertone a bit better, but I'll of course use both. Maybe these will actually get me to  prime my eyes with something other than concealer or cream eyeshadow!

These swatch very nicely, but I honestly have no idea how to use them. I assume that I can use the darker side in my crease and blend it out, while using the lighter side in the inner corner and brow bone, but I can't be sure. I'll have to look this one up when I go to try it, but the colours do call to me. Anything that looks champagney is my friend!

I think I've found my new favourite eyeshadows. This smokey eyes set is in the colour "smokey rose: and I'm in love. These are SO buttery and smooth and I have a feeling that they're going to be very blendable. There's one more shade and I'm determined to own it. This is tiny so it's awesome for travel (and I'll definitely be bringing it around with me). 

The last powders for this post! This is the All About Toffee eyeshadow palette. This is much larger, but not as pigmented as the smokey eye sets. That being said, they're not unpigmented. They actually do show up without much of a hassle. The shimmery shades are very pretty! I can definitely see myself using this a bunch day to day since I don't do out there looks. While it's not the most pigmented, it's literally less than $1 CAD per eyeshadow in this palette, so I can't complain. The packaging is also very nice! Let's just say that these eyeshadows are better than my eyeshadows from a high-end brand that used to be hyped up many years ago by everyone based on the one time that I've worn them.

Last photo! I forgot to take pictures of the mascaras, but I won't be using those in the near future because I literally have over 10 unopened mascaras from before the event that I need to get to first. These are new eyeliners and I have high hopes! The first ever felt tip eyeliner that I used was from Essence and it was my favourite until I discovered the KVD Tattoo Liner. The Essence eyeliners work extremely well (better than many high-end ones) and they're very user-friendly.  The rock'n'doll liner has a little ball at the end, making it easy to do graphic art. 

That's all I have for today! I wish I had more photos, but I was so excited that I forgot to take more. Hopefully I'll get better at photographing events as I go to more. I hope this was decent though! Don't forget that you can get Essence Cosmetics in Canada at Shoppers drug Mart or Loblaws :D

See you soon!


*All of the products were received as PR in a goodie bag. All opinions (as usual) are 100% my own.